So, although it's not mother's day, I've been reflecting a lot on my mom lately and our relationship. You see if you didn't know, I am the youngest of 8, and as you might imagine when you get that many personalities in a room it gets interesting to say the least.
My mom and I have had an interesting reltationship and most of my siblings (if not all) would classify it as a me being spoiled type of relationship. I used to feel the need to apologize for my birth order and some vague appearance of getting more than someone else. As I've gotten older, I have realized that appearances are just that, and you can "other side of the fence" yourself right out of perfectly wonderful relationships.
I love all of my siblings in different ways and they each provide a unique perspective on our childhood. The one thing I can say is that being the one born so far from the rest, (the next sibling up is 7 years older) I always felt a slight distance to my siblings. They have all these memories together and I am but an after thought. I don't share in the collective memories. As children on basically a working farm, we each had to pitch in, and as the youngest the load got a little heavier each time someone moved out.
These used to be things I was jealous of to be frank. My siblings however, saw a different picture. They saw their youngest sister get all the love and attention to myself, that themselves craved. It's not that my parents didn't give them that, it's just there are only so many hours in the day and when you are dividing by seven, it's a smaller piece of the pie, than when you are dividing by1one.
I think in highschool I resented that single minded focus my parents could devote to me. You see I got away with nothing (not that I tried to do much really). So, for a time my mom and I fought a lot. At this moment I really could tell you over what we fought, but it seemed important at the time. Being a mom I now admire the things I used to be disgruntled over. You see my mom had the audacity to make me wash my own clothes, cook my own breakfast and make my own lunches. I also was in charge of some family dinners. Not to mention all the animal related tasks that came with living on 90 acres with lots of horses, dogs, cats and even some chickens.
When I went t o college, I was shocked at how few held these skills. They could all cook a bowl of cereal, but beyond that was asking a lot. And laundry? Well that's what visits home were for. My parents launched me into the world ready to be functional in it, but still provided a net in case. I am now taking a page from my parents play book and trying to teach my kids what it takes to be in the world. You see we do them no favors when we do EVERYTHING for them. We launch people into the world that then EXPECT the world to give them a hand, instead of people who look for ways to offer a hand.
A week ago I began the training task by having Bella make our family a dinner. I set rules. There had to be a fruit, a veggie, a protien and she could pick a side if she wanted. We pulled out the cook books and she figured out a menu and made her shoppping list. I then took her to the store and showed her how to shop within a budget. Then the night of, I helped her in the kitchen, but she was the chef. She got help with things like the big boiling pot of water, and cooking tips, but the accomplishment was all hers.
The pure satisfaction she took at knowing she could do it was eye opeing for us both. She knows there's a lot to learn, but she wants to learn it. She then took left overs to school, and proudly let her friends sample it and the boost this has given her is more than I ever hoped for.
The new rule in our house...do not ever say "I'm bored" we will find something for you to do and it may just well be pulling weeds or scooping poop.
Thanks mom for all the lessons you've taught and for being my hero.