Too many of my friends have lost parents recently. It is heartbreaking to observe the grieving process and I am always told to “ask the questions now.” You can put it off for years, and possibly have regrets later. Morbid yes, reality yes.
I decided to do it and recently asked my mom a few questions.
What is one moment from your mothering little kids days that you remember fondly?
Well, there are so so many. A few memories I have of you specifically are:
1. When your class was learning how to play the recorder, and you volunteered for us to do a duet at an assembly. You had a solo and I accompanied you on the piano.
2. I remember being the brownie leader for your class and getting to plan all the fun projects and see you complete them so well.
3. You winning the Dominicks’ coloring contest when you were two and your four-year-old sister having a melt-down.
4. One day we were at Hawthorne shopping center when you were maybe three and you decided you wanted to pretend you were a horse and gallop; you held on to my coat and galloped through the shopping center. A lady came up to me and said it was so nice the fun we were having together.
What parenting moment do you wish to forget?
Again, there are many. I can’t forget how I was late to pick you up when you were returning from overnight camp for the first time. I also didn’t stand up for you when it was my turn to drive your group of friends who were at our house to kindergarten when another mother came by and said she would take everyone and I said okay. You were upset since it was my turn.
And obviously I regret not buying you “real” Keds and making you a homemade Bears t-shirt instead of buying one, since you still remember those two things!
What do you remember of me in 1st grade (the age of my daughter now)?
You were a very loyal friend and always had a best friend that you were devoted to and played with after school or did activities with. You were a good student while shy and quiet in school and always followed the rules.
What is your best advice to me as a mother?
While of course you continually demonstrate your love for your children, it is equally important to stand up for the values and behaviors you believe in and strongly enforce these to your children even if it makes you unpopular. Your children want your approval most, so they need to hear from you when they are doing things right…and possibly more importantly when they are doing things that you don’t approve of. I believe kids are always looking for a mothers approval. (Even as adults.)
What was your favorite job and why?
That’s a hard one since I have had so many good jobs. I think the job that most shaped my outlook was Director of Volunteers and Patient Relations at Highland Park Hospital. Not only did I get to meet so many wonderful people in our community, but that job demonstrated the grace and goodness in people who gave of themselves for all the right reasons (contrasted with the few who just did it for something to do or for recognition).
If you could do anything, what would you do?
Find a cure for MS; and also invent an early detection diagnostic tool that would discover the rare and difficult types of cancer before they were life threatening.
What is your favorite yoga pose?
Anything that is a shoulder opener.
Anything else you want to share?
You were always creative, kind and talented. I have to admit I am very proud of the advocate and leader you’ve become and how you face challenges with dignity and resolve. Both you and your sister have grown into people I would like to know and be with, even if you were not my children.
Thanks, Mom. I learned a few new things like the galloping through the mall story. Maybe we need to do this more often! What questions would you ask your Mom if you could?
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