What I Didn’t Get From My Mother
May 7, 2011 § 1 Comment
I can give you a list of what I didn’t get from my mother. No trips to Disneyland or Hawaii, no sleepovers, or gourmet cooking, no fashion tips or dance lessons. Those would have been as foreign to her, as she was to this country.
But, what she gave me has shaped my life.
She brought me to the Carnegie library in Ballard to get my first library card when I still had to reach up to the wooden counter. Books were piled high in our house. Windows to the world were thrown open and I came naturally to the desire to see it for myself.
She led me to Sunday school and church where I learned to love Jesus, and made friends for life.
Contrary to many Norwegian women of her generation, she didn’t live to clean and cook. She pioneered in a northern mission when young, dared to emigrate, painted, drew, sang and played her guitar, worked as a typesetter on a Norwegian newspaper, enjoyed her friends and read. First things first. Dishes can wait. I got that message.
She gave me love that was expressed by handsewn dresses and skirts for holidays instead of words or expensive gifts. By the consistency of family meals, and my childhood needs met. And always by the unspoken encouragement to live, and learn, and experience beyond what she had attained.
Happy Mother’s Day to all. And remember how tragic it would be to have someone say when you are gone: “She really could keep house.”