“At the risk of being crass, Mum, you do realize that you kick ass, right?”
“I do, don’t I!”
– C., Mum
1. Mum, you were horribly, obnoxiously right about piano lessons. I’m glad you sat on my head for ten years so I could realize I liked them. I wish I had practiced more.
2. Thanks for letting me quit ballet. I regret doing it and I miss it, but that teacher was evil. You got me out of a bad situation, and taught me long term the value of really knowing how much I can take.
3. You taught me how to cook. I’ll never love it, but let me tell you, when I put my mind to it, even you would be impressed with what I can whip up!
4. You taught me how to stand up for myself and that sometimes it’s necessary to be a vicious, biting wench when it comes to sticking up for friends, family, and principles.
5. You also taught me to be a lady, and that it was more than sitting up straight, keeping my elbows off the table, and knowing which fork to use with which course (even though you were pretty good about covering those too). It’s that my actions directly affect everyone I come in contact with, and I’d better behave accordingly. I’m still working on this one, but I have high hopes for myself.
6. You taught by example that my education doesn’t ever end, and must be aggressively sought throughout life. Three degrees, four kids, ten moves across countries and continents, two dogs, and Cambridge later, you’re still learning and teaching.
7. You taught me the importance of belief and faith, even when it’s unpopular and hard, and that no set of principles is worth having if it’s not worth questioning, struggling over, and occasionally taking that Indiana Jones step into nothing.
8. You always trusted me, with school, boys, work, high school, and my own opinions. You gave advice when I asked for it, and let me go my own merry way when I didn’t. This quiet confidence in me kept me straight like helicopter parenting never could. Clever you.
9. More Dior, less Disney. Best lesson ever.
I stand by what I said, Mum, you totally kick ass.
Your Not Quite Perfectly Ladylike But Getting There Thanks to You Daughter