5 Lessons I Learned From My Mother, Decoded

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My mother is a beautiful, loving, supportive, articulate yet foul mouthed, eccentric, non traditional, non conformist, no nonsense woman who will give her last of everything to a stranger. In 20 odd quasi esque semi years on this planet I’ve learned a lot from my mother: how to be a cheerleader in the lives of others, to take risks, fiercely go after my dreams and not to live in fear.

Those lessons are important but some of the small ones really shaped who I am. Here are a couple, decoded.

Don’t Take No S*@! From Anyone. (including her) this has helped me communicate better. My mother didn’t raise me to fear her but respect her. This lesson taught me how to be more diplomatic with others. After all if I can have difficult conversations with her expressing grievances with others is a breeze. Actual quote: “Don’t take no “S*@!” from anyone; not your mother, your father, grandmother, grandfather, cat, dog…nobody. Whenever she speaks in 3rd person like this I always wonder if I am adopted.

It Is Fun Being A Girl. In a world that encourages women to “think like a man” or wondering what would happen “If I were a boy” we tend to miss out on the beauty of being ourselves. Actual quote “We get to play in wigs, makeup and dresses, boys can’t…hehehe.”  

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It’s Just Hair. Have fun with it: straight, curly, kinky, pink, red, blonde, orange or blue in most cases it will grow back its just hair. Live a little don’t be so uptight. Actual Quote: “It grows back, and if it doesn’t? Hey.”

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“When me and your father are gone all you’ll have are each other.” She is talking about my siblings. Most of the time it is used as a tactic to resolve fights between us. I guess it doesn’t make sense to kill each other. This statement was repeated so often it created a mafia like level of loyalty between my siblings and I. It doesn’t help that my younger brother is named after a mobster, don’t ask. Although we are all adults now and can differentiate between right and wrong, more likely than not we will cover for each other in every situation. I’ve been pleading the fifth amendment since 1985.

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“One Love, Rasta.” Depending on the tone in her voice this can be good or bad but she usually says this when annoyed and wants to disengage from the conversation politely. Learn when to leave the conversation.

Honorable Mentions

“Satan is the author of confusion.” Really Means: You are not confused take your time and think it through.

“Stop acting like you don’t live anywhere.” Really Means: Stop losing your house keys.

“I don’t know why you keep buying coats with these itty bitty pockets.” Really Means: Buy coats with bigger pockets.

What are some of the lessons you learned from your mother?

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

A.V.

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