Happy Mother's Day, Peeps!
Mothers come in all shapes and sizes and colors and levels of ridiculousness and sometimes they didn't even give birth to us, but they are MOMMY or MAMA or MOM or any one of a dozen different names...but one thing is for certain: each one of them loved us with all of her heart, even if she couldn't always show it.
Today, I am sharing ten things my mom taught me. (She was a teacher, after all.) So thank you to Elizabeth Sexsmith Dunton ("Beth" to her friends, "Betsy" to my dad, and "Mom" to me. Except for those moments when my sister and I call her "Haley Mills.").
1. It's okay to be a laundry racist. Some things, like reds and whites, need to be segregated.
2. It's NOT okay to be cool with excluding PEOPLE for any reason (race, socio-economics, different abilities). Everyone has something to offer. Count them in. They may surprise you.
3. You will never regret having a garden. (Not sure she meant a garden that was covered over with foot-thick English Ivy, but every day we uncover more surprises!)
4. Old houses are worth saving. (I grew up in a farmhouse that was built in 1876. It hadn't been touched since the 1930s. There wasn't a bathtub or shower, and every room on the first floor had a door to the outside. Mom and Dad re-built that house over the course of 30 years, which is probably why I've always found it 'normal' to live in a construction zone.)
5. Give what you can to others. (My mom has always given her time and talent and stuff we don't use any more to various and sundry causes. One of those causes when I was in high school was a girl who needed clothes, though the reason escapes me. One day, she showed up at school wearing one of my skirts. I was taken aback and was walking down to my mom's room--she taught in my high school--to give her a piece of my seventeen-year-old-mind, when this girl approached me, shyly, and said, "Thank you for this skirt. It's the prettiest one I have." People, the skirt was brown corduroy. I think I mumbled, "You're welcome," and went off to a corner with my tail between my legs.) I hope I am always in a position to continue my mother's legacy of giving.
6. Teaching is tiring. 'Nuff said.
7. Old age is not for sissies. Crap happens that you probably won't like...and sooner or later, it happens to everyone. Make the best of it while you are on this earth, but it's okay to be annoyed by it on occasion.
8. Travel when you can. Go far if you want. (And, apparently, you can never take too many trips to Amish Country.)
9. There is a trick to fitted sheets, but I can't remember what it is.
10. If you can read and write, you can do anything. Even if you end up teaching for slightly more than minimum wage. Reading and writing are the keys to learning. Thanks for teaching me to read, mom!
Don't forget to tell your mom how much she means to you today...even if you're talking to the sky.