Sunday, May 12, 2013

10 things my mom taught me

Inspired by one of my favorite blogs, A Cup of Jo, am sharing with you 10 things I learned from my mom. My mom taught me...

1. To be nice to people who wait on me. She taught me to thank waiters for refilling my water glass in restos, to thank the elevator operator before stepping out and to thank the gasoline boy (with a tip of course) when he puts air in my car's tires. Growing up, I remember being introduced to the janitors and messengers in all the offices my mom has worked in over the years. I guess this is why I also have a special place in my heart for the janitor, mailroom manang, canteen cashier & waiter at my old office. They were in my Christmas list every year and each year, I was extra generous with their gifts - spending more on them (and my favorite guards at Isabella and Noah's schools) than my boss or even my bestfriends at work. I always figured they'd appreciate it more than my friends anyway.

2. To love life's little luxuries like books, a cup of Illy coffee, massages, horses, art (I spent my first big bonus on paintings instead of a purse or watch like most people I know) and dining out in nice places (with good table manners which she taught us too).

3. To take notice of how a person spells his name and spell it correctly in my correspondence with him. I guess because my mom gave me a name that's hard to spell, I am more conscious of others' uniquely-spelled names and nicknames (does it end with a y, ie, i or ee?).

4. That family traditions are important. Ours include annual family vacations (even if you have to save up all year for it), a drive to see the Ayala city lights during the Christmas season and Sundays (as my mom always said, "Sunday is family day"). To this day, the memories of these moments when I was a kid remain so vivid in my head.

5. To believe in myself. She wore (or pretended to wear) her mommy-goggles all the time, showering me with praises and raising my self-esteem. She made me feel I was special, giving me confidence in my strengths & abilities.

6. That packaging makes a world of difference. She would make sure I submitted my home ec projects nicely-packaged -- she suggested I put actual pencils in my capiz pencil holder project or candies in my crocheted pouches, instead of just submitting flat pouches piled on top of each other. I even remember covering up a weaving mistake (a big hole, eeep) in my macrame rug project with a butterfly decoration (those made with stocking material and wire). She might have been the one that taught me to find delight in pretty things!

7. To never tire of playing or being playful, no matter how old you are. When my brother and I were kids, my mom made a sort of tag game out of getting us to drink our vitamins. I love my mom's sense of humor, even her mischievousness. When a noisy kid sitting near us in church suddenly turns quiet, I know pinandilatan siya ng mom ko (that my mom shot her a scary look).

8. To always have savings set aside. She kept all the monetary gifts from various relatives while I was growing up in a bank account and gave it to me when I entered college. I remember thinking it was an exorbitant amount of money for a kid my age. But I guess I felt the sense of responsibility to keep the money intact, not wasted on frivolous teenage whims. I saved a portion of my college allowance and kept that account growing. Eventually, I carried this over when I started working so until now, I make sure there is money set aside for a rainy day. And of course I also save my kids' monetary gifts to also bequeath to them when they go to college.

9. That my dad loves me and that he is a wonderful person. My dad left us when I was 5 years old and we've had no contact with him since then. But my mom made it a point to tell me stories about him and the times he spent with me. Without any trace of bitterness, she also made it a point to tell us good things about him: how he was a fantastic piano player (widow daw) and that he was highly-creative, even invented some sort of engine. So I grew up without any ill feelings toward him and I know in my heart that he loves me.

10. That motherhood is about self-sacrifice and forgiveness. There's this quote from T. Jordan: "A mother is a person who, seeing there are only 4 pieces of pie for 5 people, promptly announces she never did care for pie." This is how my mom is. She puts me and my brother first, sacrificing anything and everything for us. She is why I've always been bothered by those airline safety videos that say you need to put on your oxygen mask before helping your child. I know that's the safer thing to do, but knowing my mom, in an emergency, I am certain she will not do the safer thing. And she is like this even when we do despicable things, ready to forgive and put aside how much we've hurt her in favor of her characteristic concern for and devotion to us.

Mommy, I know I don't say it anymore these days, but you are amazing and I love you very, very much! Happy, happy Mother's Day!

What about you? What did your mom teach you?

Photos from sparklesandpretending, everythingfabannnniegirl, i'mjustsaying and acupofjo.

P.S. No, my mom didn't teach me to wear rollers. I have no idea why I bookmarked so many photos with women with rollers! Oh and yes, that is Jackie O. And no, despite my mom's playfulness, she never spun me around like that, as I posted here.

1 comment:

  1. Very, very sweet! I'm sure your mom appreciated this. She sounds like a wonderful woman!