Mother’s Day Lessons for Life – I thought I would write about this woman called my mother, not with genealogy facts but of the lessons she taught me over the years. Mothers are our first teachers and she was just that and more.
I was the first born in my family and the only girl. My mother wanted to have at least one girl, she got her wish by having me. I was not actually her first child, she had a son first who was born as a “blue baby”. What that means is a baby with a blue complexion from lack of oxygen in the blood due to a congenital defect of the heart or major blood vessels. My brother only lived for about two hours. My parents were devastated but my parents gave it another try and I came along in 1950.
My mother got to experience all the “firsts” with me and being first she was a protective mother. As the mother’s of today, I was probably the most photographed of her three children. As time went by she made up for that and my brothers ran away sometimes when they saw her with a camera! I still have the pictures to prove it.
People have asked me over the years why I like ice cream. I tell them what my mother told me, she would use ice cream to stop me from having a bottle of milk at night. It worked and I learned that lesson very well. It is still my go-to comfort food of all time.
She was looking out the kitchen window one day while doing dishes and I was outside playing on the swing set. I decided to be creative and I turned the swing a different way and it flipped around and I went to the ground. She heard my cry and came running to find me with a broken arm. She didn’t drive and so dad was called and off we went to the hospital. I remember the ether smell and going asleep, next thing I knew my arm was in a cast and I was given several lollipops for being a good girl. I really learned my lesson that time to swing on the swing the correct way from now on.
My mother’s favorite past time when she was growing up was roller skating. She taught me how to roller skate. I remember getting my first pair of sidewalk skates with my own key. I was relentless when it came to learning how to conquer skating and staying upright. Yes, I got a few scrapes but my mother always had enough bandaids and mercurochrome on hand when dealing with three children. Then I graduated to real roller skates, my mother’s skates. I was so excited to wear them and she was proud of me that I wanted to learn how to skate. I went to the town roller rink many times over the years and enjoyed it each time.
I was around ten years old when she enrolled me in the local 4-H Club in my hometown. We were called the Tobets and I learned how to bake and sew. I was also an officer of the club during my time as a member. Over the years while in 4-H I was made fun of and I was teased about my farm animals, etc. We lived in town so I had no animals except a dog, it was the stigma about farming and being in 4-H. I would go home and tell her what kids were saying and she would tell me to ignore them and so I did just that and they left me alone eventually. My last year in 4-H was my junior year in high school and it was that year that my mother was her proudest of me. The suit that I made was good enough to go to the Illinois State Fair on the construction of a garment. My mother was there in the front row watching me model my suit and I am sure she was shedding a few tears of joy. Over the years I can’t tell you how many times people have told me that they do not know how to sew on a button. Since that time I have made all kinds of things but it would not have been possible if I didn’t learn how to sew, cook or bake from my mother and my 4-H Club. All valuable lessons I still use today.
My mother grew up as a city kid in Kansas City, Wyandotte, Kansas. She never learned how to swim and she was scared to death of water. She was determined that her three children were not going to grow up like her. She enrolled my brothers and me every summer at our YMCA for years. We had lessons until we could swim and not be scared of the water. I learned the lesson of swimming and how to maneuver in the water, a valuable lesson forever.
My high school years were great but once again I was teased because I didn’t want to smoke or drink or do drugs. Once again I went to my mother with this issue and she told me to ignore them and they will eventually get tired of asking you and go on to someone else. After a few times of saying no to them, it just got easier to say no and they did leave me alone. I just didn’t need those things to become who I am or to be a friend. This was a very important lesson I learned from my mother.
Lessons for life is just that – lessons that will sustain you through life whether they are good ones or bad ones. We still learn from each one and how to pass along these lessons to future generations. I have shared some of my lessons with my daughter and she has passed them on to her children. My mother was a loving mother but when she needed to get the point across she knew how to get your attention. I must have learned that lesson well because my daughter always said I had the “look” when I needed to get a point across to her! I know she is smiling down on me! So love your mother and be grateful you have her, mine was my rock and she will always be with me!
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