If we are to believe we cannot excel beyond that which we are made of, it would be a very limiting prediction. We would have never troubled to visit the moon or in earlier centuries to see beyond our own shores. We must acknowledge that example, may be the definitive teacher for better or worse. If your parents are litterbugs you may well be one too. That being said, we all have an investment in what we leave for our younger generations. Who doesn’t like the best? Who says, “I really love mediocrity!” And there it is, that risk of our invested time being undervalued and appreciated.
What we learn at our own mother’s knee may be something we take with us all through our lives. My mother is a landscape artist and while other children were getting the basics in the alphabet and the names of colors I was also learning the fundamentals of sketching. At the time I did not think it unusual that my mother painted with oil paints and that there were things like turpentine and linseed oil around the house. No, I thought it odd that my friend’s mothers did not paint.
She is an excellent baker and made prize winning cakes for our birthday parties and in some ways, I felt a little sorry for those children that had store bought cakes. I could not seem to grasp that their mothers could not bake, I mean my mother baked fresh bread every week; every week. We had a large family, so there was a birthday cake being baked nearly every month and in some months, twice.
My maternal grandmother would expect nothing less from her own daughter; in as much what our mothers teach us in our youngest years may benefit many others as well. With the arrival of Mother’s Day I may celebrate by saying thank you: for the art lessons, the baking lessons and that I always had a beautiful, imaginative Halloween costume courtesy of the Singer sewing machine and not those synthetic costumes that came from the five and dime.
One thing I must take away from my mother and grandmothers is always to be an original and do not let anyone else define my standards and expectations. Some people believe their occupations distinguish their lives and for others, life adds value to their vocations.