You’re Not Sick. Go to School.

Or, A Tribute to My Bossy Mom

My sibs and I basically had to be projectile puking or have an arm falling off in order to stay home from school when we were kids.

Mom’s philosophy on life? Get on with it. Impatient and ready-to-go NOW, Mom was at the heel, pumping us with her rhetoric even as little kids:

Let’s go! Move it. Step it up!

My Mom DID, in fact, bake apple pies from time to time. She even had irises growing near the garage in the backyard. But it’s for sure she was not the “apron and apple pie” sort of mom that we all love to see in commercial stereotypes.

No… she was strong, independent, outspoken, bossy, and a great teacher. Unlike me, she didn’t ever seemed to be plagued with self-doubt (though I suppose she was). She was kind, but tended to be unapologetic about the kind of person she was.

This translated into her living a modern-woman sort of life. She adored my Dad, but she expected him to adore her too, just the way she was.

I know my Mom and Dad had some tough times while we were growing up… now that I am a mother, I see how much the kids can get in the way of even a solid marriage. I am thrilled every time I hear my mom say: “Your dad is so wonderful.”

This another part of her wonderful qualities: even though my Dad is more sensitive, more likely to complain about his ailments, more like to feel bummed, she observes that that is part of his true nature and loves him just the way he is.

I mean, sure, her first instinct would be to say: “Oh, c’mon, Howard. You’re fine!” But it is sure she will love him and understand him — and by extension, her kids — after all.

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Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She teaches and speaks about the rhetorical impact of beautiful writing. A recent transplant to Connecticut, she calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home.

 

  3 comments for “You’re Not Sick. Go to School.

  1. ann bates
    May 6, 2011 at 10:51 am

    You are a beautiful writer, who sees things so clearly. I love being your sister and Mom’s daughter. You should know, you are an amazing mom just like Mom has been and always will be. They must have done something right, I am so honored to be their kid and my siblings sister.

  2. John (brother from a larger state)
    May 6, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Actually, I remember getting away with staying home from school because I “almost threw up” once or twice. Of course, Mom thought I walked on water so I got away with a lot of stuff. She is a wonderful mom, and she was a great teacher because she simply would not accept that a student was unable to learn, and was unwilling to let them accept it either.

  3. mom
    May 7, 2011 at 7:04 am

    This made me cry. Thanks, honey.

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