My mother was and is a kick-ass mom in every sense of the word. It’s actually kind of annoying how good she was (tough act to follow). She always had the answers to all of life’s dilemmas. She also had a lot of opinions but, alas, she was—and is—usually right. About a lot of stuff. Below are some of the many things she used to say to my sisters and me that proved to be true/have served us well/are now engrained in us. And I’m grateful. I hope someday Nora and Alex will have a list like this about me.
1. Be nice to your sisters, someday they will be your best friends.
2. Always write a thank you note.*
3. Say who you are when you call for someone on the phone.
4. You don't have to agree with everyone, different opinions are what make horse races.
5. Pee before you go.
6. You can tell me anything.
7. It can't hurt to ask.
8. It’s not the end of the world.
9. Take a sweater.
10. Don’t put it on your list, just do it now.**
11. Worry about yourself.
12. Bring a gift.
13. Never jump a green light in case someone is running a red.
14. Be friendly to everyone, not just your friends.
15. Don't half-ass things (school work, relationships, countertop cleaning, etc.)
16. If you need a ride, call me any time day or night and I’ll come get you.***
Anything your mom used to say to you nonstop that you appreciate now/has helped shape who you are today? My mother has taught us a million things more than this but these are the points that she actually used to verbalize. A lot. At this stage the only thing I tell my kids constantly is not to dive in the shallow end, to keep their hands to themselves and to hold my $&!@# hand in a parking lot. I’m hoping my advice gets more sage and less naggy as they get older.
* I currently have 1,000 (not an exaggeration) thank you notes for my Woman of the Year campaign sitting in my office waiting to be written.
**I am still struggling with this one. I try, but I love my lists! Number one on the list now: Write the %@$! thank you notes.
***My mother will still pick up her 30-something children from the bars if need be. Yes, this has happened recently. And yes, she rocks!