Friday, October 15, 2010

Questions Answered

After writing yesterday's post, I couldn't help but think of how my mother's words influenced me and how her words have played a part in this blog.  I didn't begin blogging until Addie was 4 months old (on Yahoo 360 which is no longer available), so my mother never got to see this, but Mom was always encouraging me to write and to use my writing to influence others.  Here are my answers to the questions at the end of Lesson Four and yesterday's post.


What are some of your mother's favorite sayings? When would she say them?  Why do they linger in your memory now?  "Put this away nice and neatly."  This was one thing I remember my mother saying all the time as I was growing up.  Anytime she gave us something to put away, we were always guaranteed to hear the phrase, "Put it/this away nice and neatly."  Mom taught us to have neat drawers, closets, and cabinets.  And because we put everything away "nice and neatly", things stayed that way.  Once when we were moving, someone was carrying Mom's dresser drawers to the moving van.  The gentleman asked my father if Mom had ever been in the military because everything in her drawers were folded and put away so neatly.  Once in a while, Mom would spot check our drawers.  If things were not neat, we would find our drawer emptied out in the middle of our bedroom floor.  Mom liked things to be nice and neat.  I think that is why I am the way I am (neatness and organization are very important to me).

What did you learn about the power of language from your mother? I learned that perfect grammar had nothing to do with the message that was being conveyed. My mother was fluent in both English and Spanish (she grew up in a Spanish speaking home).  Sometimes, while she was speaking she would go from one language to the other.  I understand Spanish (although speaking it is a completely different story), so I only heard one complete thought. 

My mother was also very fast.  She loved to do everything with speed (as her health deteriorated, it irritated her that she couldn't do things as quickly as she was used to doing them).  She thought very quickly, but her words often tripped up on the way out because of the speed in her thinking (she thought faster than she could speak). Because of the way my mother spoke, I learned to piece together what people are saying in order to understand them. (Mom could say, "Can you get me the thing from over there?" and Faye and I understand what she wanted and where it was.  Brian was amazed each time that happened.) Often when people trip up their words, I still understand what they mean or the thought they are trying to convey.  I don't make a big deal about the mistake and many times overlook it by saying, "I know what you mean."  Because I learned to figure out what people mean when they stumble over words, it bothers me when others make a big deal and beat someone down for making a mistake in conveying their thoughts.

How has she influenced the ways you speak and write?  My mother used to encourage me to write.  As a young girl, I used to love to write stories.  She always encouraged me and told me that I needed to "send it in."  Her encouragement told me that I had something to say.  Because of her encouragement, when I heard about blogging, I decided to give it a try.  I know that if she were here, she would be my number one fan.

As for speaking, I am finding myself speaking the way she did at times.  No, I don't mix Spanish and English (I'm lucky to get a complete thought out in English, let alone another language!), but I find myself tripping up my words.  Is it because I speak to a toddler most of the day?  Is it because my adult interaction has decreased dramatically since choosing to be a stay-at-home mom?  Is it because I am so tired at the end of the day that the words just don't want to come out correctly?  I don't know.  But I often think of Mom during those moments and hope I was as patient with her during those times as I want others to be with me.

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