This was one of the earliest games we played with our mother:
Mom: Everyone is dying except you. You have one pill that can save someone. Who do you give it to? (cue non subtle gesturing to self)
Katie: I don’t know! Ok you!
Josh: I’d eat it. (Apparently he wanted a back-up plan for himself.)
David: I’d give everyone a piece of it. (Everyone being our family.)
Mom: Then we would all die, David. You have to choose.
This was an early lesson on how to make a firm decision and one of the many reasons why I have an incredible mom. Having the tiny one now, I have spent a lot of time thinking and reading about how to raise him. The best thing about my mom was her creative humor in raising us, and I hope to have that too. All three of us are productive, voting members of society in professions we enjoy. We turned out normal with firm opinions on most things in life. There is a belief that within the first few years of life, your parents positively or negatively affect your self-confidence. Thank you, Mom and Dad. Here are luxuries in life my mother gave us that I plan on continuing with T.
- Mental health ‘sick’ days from school are a necessity once in a while. There wasn’t an intervention scheduled if we needed one of these. She let sleeping dogs lie and gave us a day off to regroup.
- We lived near school. We were given a note to go home to use our own bathroom as needed.
- Set limits but give freedom. When I had the chicken pox, I was allowed to scratch only one, but I could choose which one. God bless her for keeping her mouth shut when I chose the one square in the middle of my forehead. It makes me smile every time I see the scar.
- Our neighbor had crap grandchildren. They just didn’t get the neighborhood rules. My mom set us up along the perimeter of their house and, on her signal, we all made monkey/witch/scary noises and watched them run screaming into the house.
- She set up paper along the entire side of the house, gave us paints, and let us go at it free hand. Such freedom was an amazing feeling as a little kid.
- She got to know our friends. It was annoying at the time, but now I get it. Stalk without letting them know you’re stalking.
- The importance of earning, not just receiving. I was little when the Cabbage Patch Kid phase hit. My mom bought one and then gave me a list of chores I could do to earn it. I thought it was quite unfair at the time, but as an adult I have a very strong work ethic, as do my brothers.
- She let us pursue our own interests without ever negatively judging. Not all parents would support, emotionally and financially, a career in performance, but she did. She drove across the state and country for auditions and contests and never once doubted me. I never received care packages once I got to New York without a little cash slipped in for a treat. She also included stuffed animals molded into compromising positions, but this is just my mom and it is funny.