On Mother’s Day last year, I thought about the things my mother had taught me when I was growing up that she swore would ensure I would grow up to be a self-sufficient — if a little self-possessed — human being.
This year, I realize, though not for the first time, how much I really have to be grateful for, having been privy to some of the worst parenting skills I have ever seen over the past year or so. And I have not only my mother to be grateful to, but her mother as well, for teaching me so many things that I would never have learned had I been left to my own devices.
If not for my grandmother, whose Growing Up Essentials kit included fairy tales, nursery rhymes, classic literature and Golden Hollywood movies and musicals, I would never have learned the meaning of timelessness, nor the values and lessons behind the stories she made sure I could read by the time I was 2 years old. I would also probably never have known who the likes of Charles Perrault, Enid Blyton and Audrey Hepburn were, and the qualities they brought to life that so very very few people have these days.
If not for my mother, who believes in following your passions and doing what makes you the happiest, I would never have found my voice, or learned to use it. I would never have learned to always try and put others first, or to keep my chin up at all costs when I hit the lowest points in my life. I would never have sighed and grumbled through daily etiquette lessons, or grown up knowing the difference between a salad fork and dessert fork.
If not for the both of them, I would not be the way I am now: what they had both grown up to be and what they knew they had to make sure I became. And for that, I would never trade anything in the world, and I will always be grateful to them.
Happy Mother’s Day!