OT – Throwback Thursday
Some of my coworkers and I were discussing “learning” moments from our parents during childhood. I have two that really stand out for me.
My parents often told stories of their childhoods. Naturally, the good stories were told many times! My favorite Mom story was when she was about 10yo. She, her mother, and sisters were invited to a lady’s home for tea and embroidery. The lady offered around a dish of candy. Mom, loooooooving chocolate more than any other food, took the biggest piece. She bit into it to discover it was marzipan, which she absolutely loathed. She discreetly dropped the candy on the floor, hoping the dog would eat it (she did not know that chocolate was bad for dogs). The lady noticed and said, “Oh, honey, you dropped your candy! Let me get you another piece.” And gave Mom the second-biggest piece on the plate, which Mom was then forced to eat. This may be a silly little story, but it was definitely a learning experience about greed and that Bigger Is Not Always Better.
As a teenager, I was the Black Sheep of the family. I had little respect for rules and was determined to do/have what I wanted, when I wanted it. I was definitely He!! On Wheels and am certain I was responsible for the majority of Mom’s gray hairs. At 16, I majorly effed up. Not saying what I did, but I was in BIIIIIG trouble. Mom was at wit’s end. Dad took me outside (I was seriously thinking that 16 was no longer too old for a whoopin’), sat me down, and looked at me quietly for what felt like FOREVER. When Dad gives you The Look it conveys EVERYTHING: Sadness, disappointment, the knowledge that you let him down when you know better – it’s 10000x more effective than ANY punishment. When he finally spoke, he said, “I’m so disappointed in you (I died inside). You’re grounded for 6 months.” He continued to look at me with that grave countenance for a few more minutes before he spoke again. “Look, Whoozit (his special nickname for me), I know you’re going to make mistakes and THAT’S OKAY. (Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!?!?!?!?!?!) I only ask that you try to learn from them. And if you’re ever in trouble, I will always be here for you.” That did it. That totally cemented my deep, abiding respect for my Dad and proved to me what a great man he was (still is). Who knew it was okay to make a mistake??