I’ve written a couple entries about things I’ve learned from my dad over the years. Some of those were good cliches and some came from Rocky movie quotes. It seems fair to give some props to my mom, it’s just not as easy to do. Not because she hasn’t been an influence, but because the influence has been more pervasive and imaginative. If anything, I got my Calvin’s Dad approach to parenting from her. Not really in the sense that she played with our minds like putty. More in the sense that she encouraged us to be creative and do so in an off-the-beaten-path kind of way.
My dad traveled a good bit for work when my brother and I were growing up so she got the primary job of schlepping my brother and me and making sure that school work got done. Since my brother and I have the same age gap as my boys, I know what a challenge that was. Well, I was also there at the time. Still, she kept it all going. Plus, I even became a good cook despite having the influence of a father who seemed allergic to anything green. It could be tough at time to influence us for the better.
It was even a little tougher for the school part because my mom is the creative writer type. I ended up with two engineering degrees. That means her ability to help me at math topped out pretty early on. What she could do was influence us to be creative and to always try our hardest. She had been a journalist and English teacher and has always had a love for writing. I think that translated into my enjoyment of reading although I certainly procrastinated in writing projects. It also brought with it some creativity.
Outside of school, my mom has always liked kidding around with us and keeping things light. A lot of how we’ve related has been through inside jokes and shared experiences. That’s still true today. She’ll certainly offer advice when it comes to her grandchildren, but she also cuts out plenty of cartoons about raising teenagers. I’m retry sure this is because of the old mom “curse”: I hope you grow up and have kids just like you. At least that means I get to blame her for it!