Pages

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Reflection

Old age is the time for reflection or so we're lead to
believe.  Certain truths smack us right in the face,
usually kicked off by thoughtless remarks of our
issue.

My first truth is that our kids don't have a clue as
to who we really are or that we had a vibrant life
before they took that first gulp of oxygen. Often
 kid's remarks stop us dead in our tracks and we
think, "Why try to explain?  They won't get it."

For instance, child #3 (with all her fancy education) 
said to me, "You never went to college but you
don't talk like a hill-billy."  I opened my mouth
but was too stunned to reply so I let it go.

Were my kids really THAT self centered and
preoccupied NOT to notice that I took college
courses every chance I could get, for ten years?
They probably never did notice because my classes
were evenings and day time while they were in school.

I never intended to get a degree....it was knowledge
I was seeking. I doubt if young people today would
understand that. When I was advised to choose a
major, it always changed. English, psychology, horticulture...
but no hill-billy talk.

The whole economy was different and wives were not
expected to work. In fact, I never wanted to work outside
 the home, I just wanted to be aware of what was going
on out there.  I loved my life as wife and mother although
now I realize I must have looked to my kids, like the
boring, shades of gray, home-maker.  We were all June
Cleaver's back then.

Should I have tried to explain to my daughter? Would
she understand?  I don't know. What do you think?

44 comments:

  1. That must have been a real eye opener. I guess you could try to explain things to your daughter. Knowledge is everything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blogoratti
      Thanks for the perceptive input to what is, perhaps, an age-old misunderstanding between parents and children. I guess I didn't "get it" either, until I was older. And how is your week going, thus far? Swimmingly well, I hope.

      Delete
  2. sometimes the best thing to say is nothing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Holy Ghost
      And that is sound advice. Why open a squirming can of worms?

      Delete
    2. Why? To clear the air. To understand where she comes from, your daughter needs to understand you.

      Delete
  3. I think you should have said, 'them thar' ten years of college courses I took must not have been worth a lick if my own flesh and blood didn't take note of 'em.' ;) My kids say things sometimes that make me say, 'what??????' Then I think back to how ungrateful I was...and I let it go. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mean how unknowingly ungrateful I was towards my mom. I'm learning though now... but I'm 45. It took awhile. ;)

      Delete
    2. Rosie
      Hahaha That would have been a good one. I didn't think fast enough. "Mah mouth was jes too busy catch'n flies. Nex time, I'll be much obliged to recollect on them thar pearls of wisdom."
      Most of us were too wrapped up in our own generation. Me too. Thanks for the wise words you always offer.

      Delete
    3. Rosie
      You are so much younger than my kids and yet so wise. That daughter is peeping through the key-hole into sixty. But, kids rarely see their parents as once having been "real people." I did realize how the big depression dashed my mother's hopes and dreams against the rocks. Sometimes, circumstances beyond our control takes over. You're a sweetie.

      Delete
  4. Kids are blind sometimes or lost in their own little world. If it doesn't affect them, then away they go. Maybe you should just talk to her like a hillbilly lol say you forgot all those courses you took. People rarely take courses to learn these days, all about that fancy piece of paper you get at the end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat,
      I should have. Rosie suggested that too. You are so wise beyond your years. These so-called kids (Mothers always refer to them as kids) are the ages of grandparents. Yipes.
      I guess I was pretty lucky to have that luxury of being able to go to school for the sheer knowledge. It was different for my kids, I know, as I watched them stuggle for years with one subject, that they knew would probably support them for the rest of their lives. We should all either be born with the "silver spoon" or be downright hill-billies and not give a damn. LOL

      Delete
    2. lol my silver spoon must have got lost. Maybe I should go hillbilly and hope to strike oil.

      Delete
    3. Pat
      That thar's one lickety-hot-damn of an id-er.
      Listen to the story of a man named Pat...A poor
      mountaineer couldn't keep his family fat.... etc lol

      Silver spoon...huh? Go for the gold!

      Delete
  5. You might have mentioned that a high school degree used to be as difficult to achieve as a college degree is today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. joeh
      And how is your week going on this bright and sunny Tuesday morning? "Right on" about the high school degree. My kids father did Not have a high school diploma but was industrious, hard-working and made his first million by the time he was 26. I guess it can still be done, but much, much, much more difficult. He often took classes with me but neither of us felt the need for a degree. We just called it "the school of hard knocks." You learn fast in that thar school.

      Delete
  6. Hi Manzanita - it's interesting isn't it how things change - I was not very bright at school ... yet now I'm considered rather bright ... funny old world. My mother and uncle were fascinated at how I was able to join in with them and relate ... so was I - and just very grateful.

    Hard knocks are essential too - keeps us active and brain alive as we toddle on ... great reflective post - cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary
      You, Hilary, not very bright at school!! You must have been hiding your light under a bushel basket or what ever that verse is. You have a marvelous personality and it was a gift that you related so well with the mature members of your family. That proves you were extremely bright. Thanks for dropping by . Always my pleasure to talk to you.

      Delete
  7. I took several night courses at the local high school while my kids were growing up--to gain knowledge & to get away from the kids!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fishducky
      Haha That is very necessary at times, and it also made us smart. I always enjoyed the varied classes. I called them clown classes. Not that clownish as they weren't bridge or golf classes. lol I guess history was my favorite.

      Delete
  8. On one hand, your daughter thinks she's giving you a compliment, but it's still a rather rude way of saying it. I had co-workers my age (same age as your daughter) say to me, "You've come a long way" because I was born of immigrant parents who'd only only gone to 2nd and 4th grades. If I had been quicker and bolder back then, I would've said something like you're the ones who came a long way because you're from Chicago while my hometown was only a couple hours away.

    Maybe your daughter was trying to start a conversation to learn more about you. I say give her a chance, let her know who you are. I love getting glimpses about the Mama's life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susie
      I'm sure the coworker's had immigrant parents, grandparents, etc somewhere is the past too. We all did except for the ones who came with the land. Here's another one you could have retorted to the "come a long way"......Yeah, now you can even smoke in the gazebo. Remember that commercial?

      After my grandmother died, I thought of soooo many things I wished I had asked her. I got smart too late.

      Delete
  9. I think about this a lot, that my son doesn't have a clue who I am. But I don't think I can change that. All I can do is be as myself as I can be around him. Perhaps you will have a chance one day to talk to your daughter, not to try to change her mind or opinions, but just to share some things about you she may not know. I have an idea about writing letters to my son and leaving them for him to read when I'm gone. Not sure I'll ever get around to it, but it would be everything I wanted him to know and couldn't say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Write the letters, but send or give them NOW, not when you're gone. Then your son can discuss them with you and you'll both learn about each other.

      Delete
    2. Karen
      Wouldn't your first book, your memoir, tell him about your early life and who you really are? Of course, letters would be more personal and would go deeper and ......would be easier for you to say.

      The time passes so quickly and soon we don't have the opportunity to say to others what is on our mind. I do soooo much wonder about my grandmothers childhood and it haunts me that I didn't talk to her about it. She always answered my questions but never volunteered much. I guess the answer is carpi diem.

      Delete
    3. River
      I didn't see your comment at first and yes, I agree with you . You always have such good common-sense advice. I hope Karen return to read this.

      Delete
  10. My grown and well-educated children often look down on me, and say, "oh mom". As if I am an idiot with no understanding of the modern day's issues. Well, damn it, I have more education that two of the three (he has a masters; I simply possess enough college credits, but they are focused on education). And I have seen incredible things happen in my years. Things that have increased my experiences and broad understanding.
    But, "Oh, Mom" drives me crazy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hee hee; "don't you "oh mum" me...when I was your age...."
      OR, don't you 'Oh Mum me, I could tell you a thing or two, I understand what's going on these days..."
      that'll stop 'em (*~*)"

      Delete
    2. Susan
      I hear that too and especially from my grandkids. I miss my peers because we all spoke the same language. I'm just about the only one left of our group. By this time, my own kids are experiencing that same "oh Mom" rejection from their kids because they are older, of course. I guess it's just a generational thing and perhaps we take it too personally but just wait..... you'll see the same thing happening to your kids with the grandchildren. Each year we live, we add a new layer of understanding and it has nothing to do with formal education. My grandmother, whom I loved more than anyone in the world, had barely no education but yet, she was the smartest and most wise woman I ever knew. Everyone respected her and I notice respect of elders decline steadily in the recent generations. We could always survive and I doubt if many of todays young people could. My brother and I were talking about survival and I said all I'd need is a small piece of land with a creek running through it and I could survive. Remember that story of the 2 old Indian women who were left to die but the grandson of one slipped one of them a knife. With that knife they not only survived but saved the tribe.

      Delete
    3. I love that book! Truly a story about respect for elders.

      Delete
  11. I remember the day I thought to myself (for the first time), "Wow. My mom is really smart." I was in my 20s and had moved back home after a painful break-up. My mom was just divorced for the second time and not having a good time of it. Her ex was making her crazy enough that she was seriously considering moving to GA (we lived in Ohio at the time). Since she worked as a secretary at Denison University, she decided to take the summer of 1994 and see if she could find a job near her sister.

    That moment happened when I found her resume on the counter. I read it. In the reading I thought, "Wow. I had no idea my mom had all these jobs. Did all these things. Knew all this stuff." And I think that ONE THING added to our relationship (that one thing being Respect) really made a difference in how we got along henceforth. She was still my mom, but she was also someone I respected.

    Yeah, I think you should tell her. Perhaps, make a list of every college class you've taken. Show her all the books you've read. Maybe show her this blog...

    Right now she sees you as "just" her mom. You're that, sure, but you're a whole lot more, too. She deserves to know that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin
      I always thought of you and your mother as having a very good relationship because you seem so compatible living together. That was so necesessary for you to read her resume and discover all the things she contributed to the outside world. Of course when kids only see their moms at the kitchen stove or doing the laundry, they can't relate to how much she has contributed to others. When kids discover this, they realize how lucky they are to have this smart woman for their mother. And you did just that.
      That daughter is a lawyer. When she was studying for the bar, most of her friends hired someone to do the footwork at the law library. I did that for her and it opened more doors for me to learn more about the law so she should know I left my country, hillbilly ways long ago. (But now, truthfully, I wouldn't mind at all if I had them back again ....such good, simple people)
      Thanks, Robin

      Delete
  12. Go ahead and explain. Sit her down and have a good long chat. Let her learn who you really are, it's never too soon or too late for that.
    I never wanted to work outside the home either, got sideswiped by circumstances.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River
      Everyone has such a vibrant personal story inside of them and I feel that you certainly do too. Often, life just hands us a bag of lemons when we really wanted something sweeter. But whatever life dealt you, knowing as little of you as I do, I know you turned it not only into lemonade but something truly wonderful. Thank you for your good, honest, sound advice.

      Delete
  13. If she doesn't read it all ready, give her the address to your blog. I remember wanting family friends to tell me stories about my parents when they were younger. I wanted to hear about them as people, not as parents which in a youngsters eyes are two different animals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patti
      You were so lucky to be able to hear stories about your parents lives as peoplle. I remember when you once wrote about going for family drives on Sundays.
      My daughter does occasionally read my blog but she is the only one in the family who does. People are just too busy, I guess. I know if any member of my family wrote a blog, I'd certainly read it but maybe not comment because who knows, it might embarress them. :)

      Delete
  14. Hello,

    Our children just don't understand that they are standing on our shoulders. As parents, we always wanted our children to go farther than us in their life. We make many sacrifices to give them good education so that they can compete with their peers and do well in their lives. The problem is that they don't understand the troubles we took to shape and improve their lives.

    If you tell your children that you studied by candlelight they will not understand because they had electricity. If you tell them you had to walk miles to go to school they will not understand because the school bus comes close to the house to pick them up.

    A few days back I saw a baby of eight months holding tightly to a mobile phone and you can imagine how advanced this little child will be when it is ten years old. When I was ten years old I looked at a radio with a great wonder not knowing from where the music was coming from.

    Hence, we may try to explain our younger days but it is quite unlikely they will understand those days when we did things in the most laborious,difficult ways..

    Times have changed and present day children have changed with the times.

    Excellent post.

    Best wishes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joseph
      You speak the truth and write with clarity and vision. Now I wish I had used some vision many years ago as I washed off the depression grime and vowed never to be poor again.

      That eight month old baby may grow up to be head tech of the pack but I also think of the world of radiation they have to live in. I'd take a glass of pure water and a gulp of the old fashioned fresh air any day. It's difficult to find that .

      Thank for your visit. I enjoyed reading your comment.

      Delete
  15. I laughed at your 'flies' statement. My kids have said some doozies without even knowing it. I absolutely know the 'catch'n flies' stance. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rosie
      That was another pet phrase of my grandmother's. She had some doozies. But we were not exactly hillbillies. I think we were just the common, ordinary run-of-the-mill "country hicks.Only now can I see the peaceful charm in such a simple life. But, of course bk when I graduated from high school, all I could think of was getting out of Dodge and never being poor again. I knew exactly what I wanted and I went after it. But did that bring happiness? Gee that will make a good post. I hate to say this but I'm afraid I'll just have to make you wait and see. What a tease I am. LOL
      Thanks Rosie....You are a delightful person.

      Delete
    2. You are a delightful person too. :) My grandma on my mom's side was delightfully simple, openly and always loving, and not at all rich. She was one of my favorite people in the world (I know, I say it all of the time). My other gram had money. I don't know if there is a direct correlation or not, but she was not nice. At all.

      Delete
    3. Ha, she was probably not nice because I was the 'poor granddaughter.' Never thought of that until now. After she and my grandfather passed, my aunt (her daughter) told me my gram grew up in a trailer park. It was my grandfather who had the money (and he was nice!). Go figure. Some people are such odd birds.

      Delete
  16. I think it is up to you. Perhaps explaining might have frustrated you more. I think you are awesome and I agree about wanting knowledge. Trust me, I know people with many degrees, but who aren't very smart and don't know much about anything. They just like bragging about how smart they are.

    We, as kids, can be very self-centered. My mom was a stay-at-home-mom too, but she made it very clear that her job was to take care of us and that it wasn't any less important than what my dad did. There is nothing wrong with being a stay-at-home-mom. Only after I started working from home did I fully understand how hard it was to actually run a household. Mom's like you are amazing. And to have fit college courses in while already doing so much . . . You are fantastic! Don't ever forget that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Murees
      What a wonderful childhood you had with a mom waiting for you when you came home from school. That also means good nutrition with a beautiful family dinner where everyone can gather and talk about their day. I do believe all the devitalized, center-aisle quick-packaged food works early havoc upon our bodies. But what other choice does a working mother have in this status seeking race to shine the brightest?

      Thanks Murees. I always knew there is something special about you.

      Delete
  17. Degrees are overrated in this world, Manzanita. Of course, if it pays the bills I'm all for it. So you never went to college but you
    don't talk like a hill-billy... I'm sure that doesn't make sense.

    ReplyDelete