Saturday, May 9, 2009
Another source of inspiration
I've mentioned my father as a source of inspiration for some of my needlepoint designs, but it's time to give due credit to the other half of my "parental unit," as my two sons like to call it. My mother, the most amazing "piece of work" in the world, was my inspiration for "Born to Shop."
A petite female at exactly five feet tall, she had my six-footer father and me wrapped around her pinkie--and we loved it. She is the only one I know who ventured out to buy a pair of stockings at a shopping mall--leaving my father, listening to a Yankees game on the car radio--to return, three hours later, with the pair of stockings--period. My mother's shopping gene eluded me and passed, strangely, to my youngest son.
She taught first grade for 42 years--one of those old-school teachers who sent you back to first grade the following year if you couldn't read by June. But her failure rate was extremely low.
I was the only kid I knew who had letter, number and color charts gracing the walls of my room--all homemade--but I was also the only kid I knew who could read by aged four. At the age of 57, she went back to school for a master's degree in education. And when I graduated from college (the same day she received her master's degree), she urged me to continue my education, so I wouldn't "lose steam." I followed her advice, for which I thank her.
She was the perfect grandmother to my two boys, particularly the oldest, who was born seven months after my father died. She would arrive at our house for a visit with a huge shopping bag in tow, filled with about two dozen pairs of shoes. (She made Imelda Marcos look like a wannabe). She and my oldest son would play shoe store, with her as the customer and the two-year-old munchkin as clerk. It was an amazing game that left my son totally and completely grounded in his colors!
This same munchkin was full of himself on another visit, giving me "what-for" about what I can't remember. My mother raised herself to her full five feet and informed him that his mother was the best mother she had ever known. When I got her to one side later and mentioned her comment, she gave me The Look and said "Don't let it go to your head."
So on Mother's Day, here's to you, Ma, and all the other mothers out there!