Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lessons Our Mothers Omitted

As a mother on whom all ills will be blamed, I tend to tread very lightly when it comes to blaming my mother for my issues shortcomings.  It's dangerous ground.  Rest assured, I won't be going "there."

Where I am going is to question what lessons my mom repeated incessantly, but I ignored inadvertently missed teaching.  I ask this because I had a really cool conversation with a friend the other day.  She said her mother taught her that she needed to be kind to everyone and to keep her mouth shut if she didn't have something kind to say.

My mother never said anything of the sort.  But then, my mother never gossiped.  I've never heard her gossip, unless I drag her into it and then she's anxious to move to other topics.  Her sisters don't gossip.  My cousin and I... yeah, we gossip.  We try not to get ugly about it, but we gossip.  Now how is it my mother doesn't gossip, but I do?  Did her mother impress upon her to not gossip?  Is that why she might have said something I don't remember didn't make an impact on me to not gossip?

It makes me wonder what lessons I missed or what lessons she didn't think to impart.  There were lots of wonderful things my mom taught me.  Obviously.  It makes me wonder what lessons I'm failing to impart or not impressing enough upon my kids.

For instance, a very well-mannered friend visited us a few years ago and her son dismantled something one of my sons built.  He wanted to use the pieces to build something else.  When my son realized his creation had been obliterated, he was crushed.  In fact, he still talks about it.  Know what upsets him the most?  No, not that the other kid took apart his invention without asking.  He still notes that the boy didn't apologize!  He didn't apologize.  Now, how is it that my friend who is the epitome of proper has a son who doesn't apologize.  She was standing right there and she didn't instruct him to apologize.  How is that?

So again, I wonder what lessons our mothers omitted and what lessons we are omitting.  What is it in our brains that clicks on some things to impart and not others?  What do you think?

~ G

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