This is the first in a series about the lessons my mother taught me through example. Mother’s Day felt like a good day to publish it. But then I felt that celebrating it a few days later made more sense.
You could say that I was inspired by the Outkast song Happy Valentines Day After all, if we can make love for others, especially mothers last all year long the world will thank us.
I remember sitting in the backyard on the grass. Mom read classic stories to my sister and me.
By the time the summer was over, I think we read every book in that treasured C.S. Lewis series.
My first experience with the alphabet came from magnets. They were different colors and they stuck to a whiteboard. There were solid lines and dotted lines above that ran parallel.
The first morning she placed the letters in order. Then we would peel them off and I tried to copy the pattern. Soon I could place them all in the right places. I could never get my letters straight on the lines. Next, I learned their names.
I knew how excited my mom became when she talked on the phone and used the words pre-school and first day. She told me that she had talked with my new teacher. They were both excited about my progress learning the alphabet.
Mom made it clear that the alphabet was not just the key to success in pre-school and kindergarten. Reading required deciphering the alphabet. Once I did that I could unlock the power of reading and the magic of writing.
“Brevity is the better part of wit”(Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2)
“Pride cometh before the fall.” That was the warning my mother would share when I became too confident. It’s based on the verse from King James Version of the Old Testament. Proverbs 16:8 “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
I would learn its meaning and come to respect it many times in my life. My mom also liked to mix in quotes from Shakespeare. “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!” was only used as a warning when we appeared ungrateful.
It was more often “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse.” Sometimes it was a playful paraphrase that substituted another word for horse. In our house, it was popular to say, “A pen, a pen.”
It’s easy to choose one day to celebrate mothers. However, my daily actions are built around the values my mom imparted to me.
Tell yours with a Storyteller.