What better place for me to start my views on relationships and how they have shaped me then where it all began, my parents.
I wouldn’t be anywhere without them. They had the biggest impact in shaping who I am as a person. There -isms float in and out of my head on the daily. I’m 23-years old and live in a different state but, they still is someway affect how I move through life. I can say with 100% certainty that I would not be where I am today without them and I will be forever grateful for everything that have and continue to do for me.
Mom will be first, partly because mom would hate to be anything but. She is the compass that points me toward empathy and kindness. She may say that non of her children are like her and we all favor my father but she is wrong. The good parts of us came from mom . . . and maybe a few of the bad too, but don’t tell her I said that.
Mom was the one who had the most patience with me and my brothers growing up. Now don’t get me wrong my mother can go off like a bottle rocket with the best of them. The woman knows how to be dramatic, but she has had to put up with me, my two older brothers, and father. Oh and did I mention that her parents also lived with us. The woman never had a minute to herself. We used to joke that mom didn’t know how to close the bathroom door. The older we got the more we realized that it was our fault. Mom gave-up trying to have any privacy and time to herself. She just went with the flow, gave up on trying to close a door. Now it’s her grandchildren that won’t let her have a moment of peace.
Mom is our emotional, sometimes crazy, unconventional loving and claims to be dyslexic (even though all evidence points to the contrary) amazing woman. Mom is the one who taught me to not take shit from anyone. She was a woman who worked for 20 years in the construction industry and she demanded respect. This helped her when she switch over to a teacher’s assistant at a private school when I started kindergarten. She was the favorite teacher in the entire K-12 school. She was loved and respected, she is my role model on how to be a lady but also hang with the guys (an important skill when you only have brothers).
My mom was and is my closest confidant, we were the two women outnumbered by three men. I was her shadow, where she went I went. She showed me through her actions how to handle rude people, how to stand-up to a man and demand respect, and how to sneak things behind my fathers back.
*Disclosure: The man knew everything me and my mother where up too. He had a sixth sense about these things, but he indulged us. He also pays the credit card bill so that may have had something to do with it.
The biggest lesson I ever learned from my mother is that someone can see and hear the something differently than myself. That doesn’t mean that I’m right and their wrong, or vise-versa, it just means that I need to remember that everyone is different. And boy did she make sure we learned that lesson. She was and is usually the one on the other side of a family argument. We are a sarcastic and dry humored bunch. My mother on the other hand, doesn’t understand the skill and art that is the sarcastic language. Mom takes everything at a personal meaning, you can see how this could go wrong. There were many a nights that we would be joking around at the dinner table with dad and mom would storm-off angry with hurt feelings. Why did this happen so often you may ask? Well let’s just say we are the best at remembering mom is more sensitive than the rest of us.
Without her though we would be an unruly, dysfunctional, and intolerable group of smart-asses. Or as my grandmother, my mom’s mother, used to ask me and my brothers. “Your an S.A. and you decide if you are a sweet apple, a sour apple, or a shit ass.”Obviously, we tended to fall within the latter. Mom is our emotional compass that reminds us to be thoughtful and empathetic. While we are are a bunch of “shit asses” as my Granny so affectionately puts it.
Now my mother is no saint. But, we love her all the more for it. She can be the epitome of “Cut off your own hand to spite another.” She has a short temper to rival the best of them. She is a woman who has seen some shit and lived through it. But, in all this she sees the best in people. She believes the best in people and still maintains a naivete that the rest of my family lacks. She is and will always be our emotional center that reminds us to be better. Mom is our rock and we are better people because of her.
Then there is dad. . . her opposite. But we will dive into the lovable crazy that is my father next time.