My top 12 things I learned from my mother (other than learning to walk, talk and basically be a decent human being).
- Put your hand on your keys, your wallet and your phone before leaving you house or getting out of your car. My mother would ask me before I would leave the house if I had my keys or my lunch or my gym clothes. As a teenager I would mindlessly reply with yes I’ve got it. She would then reply with ‘put your hand on it’. Often times I would find myself unable to ‘put my hand on it’ as I had forgotten the item. As a rule of thumb I now touch my key, wallet and phone every time I leave my car or my house to make sure I have them.
- The recipe on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip bag makes the best chocolate chip cookies in the world. My mom always makes the best chocolate chip cookies. One day I asked for the amazing family secret recipe because I know it must be under lock and key because they are so good! My mom told me her recipe is from the back of the nestle tollhouse chocolate chip bag. I felt robbed! This isn’t a secret family recipe! Everyone in the world gets the opportunity to make her scrumptious cookies at home. I still to this day can’t make them as wonderful as she can. She must just add a little pinch of love to each batch she bakes!
- Pull your socks up to the moon. My husband will attest that I still do this. Often times I will already be in bed or on the couch and my feet get a little chilly. My kindhearted husband will bring me some socks and put them on my cold feet. I tell him to pull them up to the moon. I don’t like loose fitted socks. They have to be pulled on as tight as they can go. Not sure why but I can’t stand loose socks. Mom, thanks for always pulling my socks up to the moon!
- Keep a dictionary and a phone close while playing Scrabble. The dictionary is for obvious reasons but the phone is to call Aunt Linda because back when we were kids you couldn’t Google the rules of the game, but Aunt Linda who knows the rulebook by heart) would settle any argument over a word or score. I can’t remember one game where we haven’t called Aunt Linda to settle a questionable move.
- You can’t go around your problems. You have to face them and work through them. Growing up I was not book smart like my sister. I struggled a lot through school. My mom did everything she could to help me. She got me tutors, she made me stay after school for more help and she made sure that I learned everything I needed to succeed. It wasn’t until I went to college that I truly found my study habits. Since I went away to college my parents would tell me “if you don’t pass and do well you are coming home! We aren’t paying for you to be up there and fail.” I loved being a college student so I studied extra hard, stayed up as late as I needed to and I succeeded with a BA from Michigan State University. Through all my problems I just needed that extra push to help me realize I could get through it.
- Compete but stay fair. Growing up I played soccer, volleyball and a little bit of softball. My mom was at every game and supported me through it all. My parents taught me that each game has rules and while winning is the ultimate outcome, being fair to all parties is the right way to play. If it’s not fun anymore we won’t play. They always wanted to make sure it was fun for me and not stressful.
- In some situations ‘I’m not here to make friends’. Stand up for yourself because no one else will. My mom always taught me to be polite in everything you do, but if you need to get a job done, get it done however you need to. Hence the popular phrase by my mother, ‘ I’m not here to make friends’.
- Kill them with kindness. My mom taught me that manors are something that will help you in life. It helped me understand that if you are kind to someone who has a problem with you, you will always be the bigger person because you were nothing but nice to them. (I may have slipped on this one a few times but I try to follow it as much as possible)
- When you can’t keep anything down, try a tablespoon of Vernors or 7-Up(one tablespoon every hour until you keep it down). When we were little and were sick with tummy problems, we would lay on the couch, throw up bowl close by and every hour we would get a tablespoon of Vernors to settle our stomach. Once we could keep that down we had dry toast. The idea of a specific throw up bowl in your house is key!
- Koy Koy’s make the best blankets. My mother calls the silky top of a blanket a koy koy. We still to this day don’t know how the term koy koy came to be but we know it will forever be in our hearts!
- The phrase ‘If I have to come up there and find it for you, you are in big trouble’. As a wife I now know the frustration of putting away the laundry. I now know that the person in the family that does the laundry is always correct as to where they last put that piece of clothing. If my husband says he can’t find a pair of jeans or a shirt and I tell him where it Is, yet he still can’t find it…..my mother’s voice comes out of my mouth and I say ‘if I have to come over there and find it for you, you are in big trouble’. Sorry about this one Mom, you were always right!
- Be a good co-pilot and keep your pilot awake. Every time my husband and I go on a road trip whether it be a 10 hour drive or an hour my Mom will always tell me “you’re the co-pilot, make sure you keep your pilot awake”. Especially on long road trips, I always try to keep the conversation going so that we both stay away. One time on our 8 hour drive down to TN, I read a dog training book aloud to Eric and after each paragraph or chapter we would discuss what we had just learned. We were going to pick up our new puppy when we returned from TN so we decided to educate ourselves more on the drive down. As it is a safe and helpful tip to have two people awake and alert when driving long hours, I took this as a marriage lesson as well. I think it teaches you that no matter what you always need to be watching out for the other. Even if they say ‘I’ve got it’ or ‘I’m good’.
Of course I could go on and on about all the things my mother taught me but these are my top 12. Mom thank you for passing all of your wisdom onto me. I appreciate everything you have done for me over the years. You are an amazing mom and person. I can’t wait till I have my own kids to pass my wisdom to. I love you!