An Ode to My Mother…and Father, too
With Mother’s Day right around the corner and everyone spending time with their moms, it makes me realize how much I miss mine. I’ve spent some time lately reflecting on how lucky I am to have the parents I do.
My mom recently took a day and a half grueling trip overseas in a stuffed sardine can of a plane to Spain to keep me company and support me while I followed my dreams. She sacrificed sleep and comfort to sit in the cold bleachers every morning and film my lessons. She could have been out exploring Spain or staying in her warm bed eating room service, but she walked with me to school every morning and listened to horsey-banter that probably didn’t make any sense.
It made me wonder if I’d had a kid who was interested in Star Wars or something dorky like that, would I accompany them on a nerd-related pilgrimage and endure nerd-speak for the sake of my child’s (albeit uninteresting, boring, different from my interests) dreams? I don’t know. My mom did, but she has lots of practice at being selfless.
My parents have taught me a lot about being selfless, though. They are experts in that field.
For starters, they had seven kids. That says a lot about their typical day, and a lot about how much time they spend on OTHER’s needs. Now I’m not saying that everyone has to have a large family to understand how to share, cooperate, and be open-minded, but in my parents case, and I think in the case of myself and my siblings, it certainly helped give us a kick start.
We live in such a self-centered society now, and while it’s great that we promote independence, free speech, and free thinking, often those things come at the cost of others. We have evolved into a society that feels that the individual’s needs and wants can be attained, whatever the cost, and often at the expense of others, the environment, their friends, families, horses, etc. I never realized my parent’s way of thinking was different til I grew up and got out in the world and realized selfishness was everywhere. I am not saying I am perfect or unselfish by any means. But I do know that my parents equipped me with a different way of seeing the world, and a little deeper understanding of how one’s personal needs affect others. They taught me to judge when it is important to go for what you want, as in the case of my trip to Spain (my parents definitely encouraged that), or when it is probably better for everyone to compromise (as in playing loud music at 3 am. Not OK for everyone even if it was something that I wanted).
My parents are not horse people, but I like to think they have a lot to do with any of my success as a horse person too. Dedication and hard work is something my father taught me. Attention to creative detail is something my mother can boast about (but probably doesn’t as much as she could). My dad was an Air Force pilot for many years, and my mother raised 7 kids, taught school, and every other vocation under the sun (everyone knows being a homemaker requires 24/7 service and training in every field), the lessons I learned growing up helped shape me into a better horsewoman, and hopefully, person too!
So though it is early for Mother’s day, and way too early for Father’s day, I just wanted to let my parents know I love them, think of them, appreciate them, and hope if I ever become a parent I can do half as good of a job as they did!
I bet many of you can relate to my sentiments. Feel free to share your stories if you like, or share this with your parents!