There's an old ditty that makes a lot of sense. In it, the writer tells how, as a young girl, she thought her mom knew nothing. It was only as she got older that she realized the wisdom that her mom had tried to share - and how desperately she missed her mother when she'd passed away. I know exactly what the author of this poem meant.
Like almost all of us, I thought that I knew everything. And, boy, do I mean everything. Even though my mom was a college graduate with a couple of degrees and a string of letters after her name, as a teen I was completely flabbergasted that she managed to breathe on her own.
I'm not sure that any of us would want to have me for a daughter.
When I married, I consulted my mom sporadically, but the true test came when I began to have babies. Suddenly, the woman who knew nothing became #1 on my speed dial. It wasn't uncommon for me to call her multiple times a day, just to ask advice or pick her brain or just get some badly needed reassurance that I wasn't going to raise the Son of Sam killer.
My mom was a great one for giving me knowledge. She didn't answer any questions that I asked her, though - she told me where and how to find the answers. It was wildly, wildly frustrating. i can remember doing homework and I could not spell potato. She told me to look in the dictionary. That reply frustrated me know end! Why not just tell me how to spell it?
Because she knew that I'd remember if I looked it up, and because being able to look something up is a skill that many of us still struggle with to this day. Sure, it would have been easier for her to spout off p-o-t-a-t-o, but odds are good I'd have bugged her for something else. Sending me to the dictionary taught me to sound out the letters, to search, to discover and gave me a sense of pride in myself when I was able to be successful.
Pretty cool lesson from spelling, and probably more than my teacher had imagined. Now that I'm raising my own family, I find myself teaching similar lessons. After all, I want to raise smart, well adjusted kids who know how to think for themselves and discern the correct path.
Just as my own mom did.
What parallels have you noticed between your parenting style and your mom's? How do you differ?