Lessons from Mother

I thought, in honor of Mother’s Day, I would write a lil’ post about some of the things my Mama has taught me over the years I have been alive. I was thinking a little bit ago about the things I know how to do, and where I learned them. What was I taught directly, and what have I learned on my own? In recent years there have been a few things I have taught myself. I either didn’t know it, or didn’t catch it when I lived at home. I realized how easy it would be to blame the people who raised me for not teaching me these things. As if they could know everything there is to know and then impart it all to me in the relatively few years I was at home and teachable. (13 doesn’t count, no one learns anything during that year.) Or, I could be grateful for what I was taught. Which is quite a bit. I can be thankful for all the things I did know before I left the nest that prepared me for adult life. 

So here is a sampling, enjoy. 

First, she taught me to learn. Learning and knowing how to learn are two different things. I was taught how to find knowledge. Learning how to research was a big part of it. I learned where to go to find the answers beyond just a google search. We didn’t just google the answers, we looked them up in a dictionary or a thesaurus. We even used an encyclopedia. I was taught how to find information and then use that information. Today, if I need an answer, I know how to look for it. If I want to learn a subject, I know how to go about that. She set me up to keep learning the things that she didn’t know and to learn beyond her knowledge. Which, let me tell you, has come in handy more times than ten.

Second, she taught me how to be friendly. I learned how to get along with just about everyone. I can work with the irritating coworker, listen to the boring person going on and on about their favorite subject, and make friends across every social sphere. As a kid and teen, my friends were scattered across sport groups, cliques, and demographics. I didn’t have a clique, but I could tell you who the best person was to fix your car, get you a job, and who cooked the best meal. My whole family is like this, we make friends quickly and remember them for a long time. Anyone is welcome around the table, and everyone is invited to speak.

Last, my Mama taught me to cook. I learned how to cook for a big family, and how to cook for myself under her tutelage. I learned how to cook cheap meals and make them stretch for days. Another thing I have found come in handy over the years. She has mastered the art of cheap, efficient cooking that tastes good. When it comes to stretching my dollar and making every meal filling, I always go to her for advice. She is the one who also gave me the space to experiment with cooking. I was always welcome to come up with something new for dinner or try out a recipe for dessert. Since what I made was (usually) edible, I was always allowed in the kitchen.

Is this all I learned from her? No. After all, she was my one and only teacher all through school. Even now, I still learn from her and seek out her advice on tricky subjects (such as the best marinade for steak). I suppose I will always be learning from her, just as I will always be learning from everyone ahead of me in life.

I don’t know everything, but I know where I can go to figure it out.

Thank you Mama.

Shaina Merrick