Today is a day for gush. People will go on and on about how great their Moms are. I really struggle with mush. It makes me uncomfortable. Exposes too much. Is too sweet (like cake frosting) and cloying (like cheep perfume). I don't trust it.
To me, it’s pretty clear I had a good Mom. I hold a good job, I’m independent, have not lived my life “on-hold” waiting for a partner, and I’m a fairly optimistic person. So instead of talking about all the great “Mom” things she did raising me, I thought I’d make a list of the “10 Things I Admire” about her, as a person. Because, being a Mom, should only be part of who someone is – not their only defining trait. Or, at least, that’s what she taught me.
10 Admirable Things about Talla Paula
She’s never used gender as an excuse to get out of doing something.
She learned to hunt and fish so she could join my dad in his recreational pursuits.
She can back a trailer – better than most men.
She’s frequently involved in some type of “learning” class which have included painting, geology, quilting, gardening, and public speaking.
She can read a map – which I didn’t know was a skill until we met her half-sister who declared she’d NEVER read a map in her life.
She’s good at meal planning for camping.
She’s a list maker.
She handles the day-to-day family finances.
She can balance a checkbook.
She was a good daughter-in-law.
Thinking about that list, it’s clear to see how these traits have been influential in my life.
I work in a non-traditional industry – or at least in an industry that is still part of the “good-old-boy” network. I think my ease being around men – and not thinking they’re some strange species to be observed and manipulated comes from her attitudes towards men.
Although I don’t like bugs or snakes or spiders, and I am squeamish when it comes to blood and guts, I don’t see any reason for a woman to feel out of place or uncomfortable in the out-of-doors. I enjoy the great outdoors and can camp in the rain with the best of them.
I haven’t had many occasions to back or tow trailers, but I can. I can drive a four-wheel with lock in hubs and a clutch. I think nothing of driving cross-country or alone at night for business or pleasure.
My desire learn about people and things – I’m convinced that’s what keeps me feeling young and interesting.
Despite the advent of GPS systems, which I think will make map reading an obsolete skill, I can and do, read maps proficiently. Now – whether I chose to FOLLOW those directions is another story.
I’m good at planning – meals, trips, meetings, get-togethers, etc.
Gee, look at the form of this journal entry. Enough said!
They gave me my own checking account in 7th grade. I’ve been in charge of my finances since then.
There is no hope for me. It’s not her fault. She tried. And has caught my checkbook up – more than a few times. Now I just ... don’t look.
If I ever have the occasion to be a Daughter-in-Law, I hope I enjoy my Mother-in-law as much as she did.
So – Happy Mother’s Day Talla Paula. You’re a pretty impressive woman.