Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tips From My Mom #11

As an educator I spend a great part of my life with children. Over time their unique personalities become more clearly defined.

Their sense of humor, their worries, their little quirks, how they are likely to respond to a given situation, the core of what makes them who they are becomes known to me.

And, although I have been at this teaching thing for quite a number of years, I am still quite amazed when I meet their parents to realize that the apple doesn't fall very far from the tree.

The worried parent often has a child who is fearful, the stubbornly opinionated one has a daughter or son who demands things their way and the quiet adult usually belongs with the child who is content to play alone. I do realize that there are exceptions to this but more often than not I am honestly and continually surprised to find it to be the case.

My mother has given me gratitude.

Life can be difficult. There is sickness, death, pain, emotional hurt, earthquakes and other natural disasters, fears that are both real and imagined but through it all there remains something deserving of thanks.

A friend, a full moon, a dog that runs downstairs to greet you when you return home at night, warm pajamas, a night without worry, a day to do nothing, rain, getting lost in beautiful music, freedom, the comfort of your bed, hope, expressions of love, family.

My mom told me this morning that she counts her blessings everyday.

I already figured she did. I do the same.

This apple didn't fall very far from the tree either.

And I say to you mom, "Thanks".


willow said...

This reminds me of the song from White Christmas...

When I'm worried and I can't sleep I count my blessings instead of sheep, and I fall asleep counting my blessings.

Lovely tribute to your mother, Gary.

Pauline said...

gratitude is one of our best features as humans.

Arielle Lee Bair said...

To Gary - your mom is a sweet, kind person and so are you. Learning about your mom through your various posts, I always figured the apple didn't fall far from the tree. :) You are lucky to have your mom as a mother and she is lucky to have you as a son.

To willow - I thought the SAME thing as I was reading this post - same movie, same song! :)

William Manson © 2010 said...

very nice Gary, it seems your destiny was cut at an early age, your mom is pretty, good post..

Barbara said...

Your MOM posts are always my favorites. I do hope my children like what they inherited from me because you are so right about the fact that we do have many of the traits of our parents.

Anonymous said...

Mother knows best...
Your Mother sounds like she's a very wise woman.

Pee Ess: I've never tried Absinthe, but I'd sure like to!

Gary said...

Willow - I love that song. It didn't come into my mind when I wrote this but it is a perfect fit. As for White Christmas, I have been wanting to see that movie & Broadway show for two years and STILL have not.

Pauline - Do you remember those billboards a few years ago that promoted gratitude and empathy? They always made me stop for a moment but I have no idea what they were promoting (the Red Cross perhaps?).

Arielle - I realized that it was about time for another Tips segment. I want to post something more practical (like Tip #1 was) but they keep coming out on a grander scale. She did have tips on getting your kids to help you clean but I wonder if that'll have the same impact.

Btw, looking forward to the following up on your questions post. That is a fantastic idea and you are brave to conquer it.

William - Thanks. That is an interesting point about being who you are from an early age. I see that so often. I especially love to see those kids who have a strong sense of themselves and have a bit of fight in them when physically challenged in some way. I think to myself that they will be okay with that spirit.

Barbara - Wouldn't it be fun to have your kids as guest bloggers to write a 'Tips' segment about you? I have asked a couple of friends to write on a topic (math, social justice) on my blog but both of them declined. So, it remains all me, all the time. ;)

Mistress - Do I sense an absinthe party coming on?

mouse (aka kimy) said...

thanks mom and thanks gary

Margie said...

Oh, wonderful post!
I too count my blessings each and every day!

Enjoyed very much being at your blog!

Nf1andprek-whisper said...

I really enjoy reading your blog, I don't know if it's your writing style or that you are the only male blog I follow or that I once went to school to be a sign language interpreter ? I love sign language but I have a learning disability and although, I know many many signs I am not able to string them all together quickly to do a song or conversation.
I enjoyed your mom number 11 tip.What a great idea.

Gary said...

Whisper - well, that was a very nice comment indeed. I don't know why you enjoy reading FYB but I am certainly glad that you do. Your interests in reading, children and sign language probably play a large role there to be sure. Thanks for the comment. I plan to post some more about American Sign Language in the next two weeks so stay tuned.

Margie - I trotted on over to your blog after reading your comment and understood immediately why you liked the gratitude post. Your blog has such a giving, appreciative vibe. Continue putting forth all of that positive energy. The universe needs more of it.

Kimy - xoxo

lettuce said...

its a wonderful gift and inheritance to have from your mom.
I do the same - like Willow, especially when I can't sleep.
It does make all the difference.

Salty Miss Jill said...

Allow me to thank your mom, too. :)

Sebastien said...

I love your posts about your mother. I KNOW that I've gotten many qualities from my parents, both good and bad as well :)

Katherine said...

Just discovered you... Lovely post.
I have a 'glad' book by my bed in lieu of a diary. I write at least one thing in it every night. Some shitty days are harder, but, interestingly enough, the most rewarding. I can always find something I'm pleased about.

Mom said...

Once again you give me too much credit. Thank you for being such a wonderful and a special friend! You'll always be my "Happy Baby"! I love ya! Mom xxxooo

Gary said...

Semper Fi Mom (I love being the son of Marines)

Katherine - I am so happy that you discovered the blog. I like your glad book idea. In church we always share our Joys & Concerns with one another and this is another opportunity for giving thanks and praise. It helps to remember the small joys on those shitty days.

Sebastien - Both good and bad indeed but from what I know of you the good sure outweighs the bad.

Jill - I passed it on...

Lettuce - It is a good way to welcome ourselves into dreamland isn't it.


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