Home > Uncategorized > The Most Valuable Lessons of My Childhood

The Most Valuable Lessons of My Childhood

I’m not the kind of gal who lives in the past or analyzes my childhood, or, heaven forbid, goes to therapy.  Trust me when I say no one really wants to know what’s inside my head.  That said, there is a lot to be said for appreciating the things that have helped to make me who I am.  If nothing else, it’s a shout-out to Mom & Dad.  Thanks for all those little ways you messed with our heads, because there were lessons in all of it.

Don’t make assumptions.  For instance, if you reach into a dark room to turn on the light, you should never assume that the room is empty.  Odds are that your father someone is hiding in the dark waiting to grab your arm and laugh hysterically when you wet yourself.  While some may argue that this stress-inducing kind of behavior leads to jumpy kids who don’t trust any situation, I contest that it simply taught us to be ready for anything.

Tough love.  Gentleness may have its place, but I wouldn’t be the tough-as-nails woman that I am today if my mother hadn’t mercilessly jerked the knots out of my hair every day.  Detangler?  It’s for wimps.  I chuckle when my hairdresser asks if she’s being too rough on my head.  Please, lady.  You’ve got nothing on my mom.  Maybe it sounds mean, but, look, sometimes things hurt and you have to do them anyway.  It’s not a bad thing to know from earliest childhood.

Offer solutions, not problems.  Complaining is complaining, any way you cut it.  If you can’t also offer a possible solution, shut your trap, or you’ll likely be met with the ever-helpful offer to see your mom stand on her head in the corner.  (example.  complaint:  I’m bored, there’s nothing to do. response: Well, what do you want me to do about it? Stand on my head in the corner?)  Now that I have finally reached the point that I would dearly love to see my mother stand on her head in the corner, she no longer offers to do it.  Such is life.  Anyway, you can’t go through life getting all the answers from someone else.  Sometimes you have to figure it out on your own.

Always buy good quality shoes.  There’s no deeper meaning here.  Just, take care of those feets.

Dazzle them with bullshit.  Honestly may be the best policy, but exaggeration will get you far in life.  Never, ever admit that you don’t know something.  Say, yes, of course I can do that, then go home and figure it out as fast as you can.  If you want to be the person who knows everything, then be the person who’s willing to learn everything.  Thanks, Dad.  Now everyone asks me questions all the time.  I should have thought that through a little better.

I am not left-handed.  And neither is my dad, but in my childhood, we embarked on a contest to see who could learn to write left-handed the best.  (spoiler alert: we both sucked at it.)  My life has been full of these kinds of challenges.  Why?  Why not?  Maybe we were ambidextrous.  How will you even know what you can do unless you try?  And where’s the fun in trying if there’s no one doing it with you?

There you go.  A peek into a few of the things that produced yours truly.  Thanks, Mom and Dad.  I’m not totally convinced that you knew what you were doing at the time, but it worked.  Now, Mom…I’m bored.  There’s nothing to do.  Whatcha gonna do about it?

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  1. July 25, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    We had very similar mothers in the hairstyling department. Just reading that made my neck hurt!

    • July 26, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      No mercy on the scalps of tangled little heads! Thanks for reading!

  2. Barb Strimple
    July 26, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Call me Shel I have a dirty house, dirty dishes, dirty clothes. Boy could I help you being bored now in a different way. And as far as your Daddy with the left handed challenge, I wish I would have gotten in on it when I had a broken right had a few years ago. Lessons yes! Mom

    • July 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm

      This is what I’m talking about…no talk of standing on your head now, huh? The lefty experiment was fun, but it didn’t help me when I busted my thumb last year, so the final result is, I am not ambidextrous. 😦

  3. Barb Strimple
    July 26, 2012 at 11:12 am

    sorry that should have said broken right arm.

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