Thursday, May 13, 2010

Life Lessons

To say I’ve learned a lot from my mom is a massive understatement. When I was growing up my mom was (and still is) a very big part of my life. She stopped working after I was born to be a stay at home mom, but she wasn’t one of those stay at home moms who are obsessed with cleaning their houses or carting their children around to activities – no soccer mom status for her. For one thing, I never played soccer (which was probably a good thing for all involved). But also, my mom was very hands on in teaching me about life and, I think, shaping who I am as a person and a writer.

From a very early age she read me books and then, when I was old enough to read, she carted me on an insane number of trips to the library. She helped me with my homework every night when I was younger (reminding me to always double check my work and have the patience to sit there until I know what I’ve done is right and to the best of my ability.) As a result I became a voracious reader and always did really well in school.

But I think it was life lessons about believing in myself and persevering that were the best lessons she taught me. From a young age, my mom always told me I could be and do anything I wanted when I grew up. She never discouraged me when I told her I wanted to be a writer, or that I was going to major in English, or get a (pretty useless) master’s degree in creative writing. She never told me to be practical, get a “real” degree/job, or that a career in writing would be too hard. She always repeated what she told me when I was little girl – that I could do whatever I wanted to, whatever was going to make me happy. And on top of that, she added her encouragement. It was my mom who constantly reminded me not to give up after a lot of rejection, and that she was sure I was going to be published some day. She still keeps at this, in fact, as she often drops things into our conversations like “when you’re a NY Times bestselling author. . .” (and she says "when," of course, not if!)

If it weren’t for my mom being so involved, so encouraging, and so positive that I could do whatever I wanted with life I’m sure that I would be a different person today. I don’t think I could’ve persevered as a writer, and I’m not sure I would’ve felt so strongly about making sure I had a career where I could also stay at home and be very hands on in raising my own kids.

So for all that, and so much more: thanks, Mom!


Arnold said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Maureen Lipinski said...

Love "when" not "if!"

Lisa Patton said...

Jill, I always dreamed of having a mom like yours!!She sounds so lovely!!