This I Believe

November 19, 2009
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Slowly…slowly now, you’re almost there. Bump! Scrape! What was that!? The pole! The pole is too close to the car! I turn the engine off and jump out to assess any damage. While there was only a small dent in the siding from the pole of the carport, it was still an imperfection that was my fault. My mom, who was there coaching me on how to back out of the carport, had this look on her face. And I thought that my mother, Janet, a woman whom I had never seen angry, was about to become enraged. Instead, she came over, helped me out of the parking space, and then told me that as long as I was okay, she was not upset. As for the look on her face, it was an attempt at trying to suppress laughter. This is one of the many instances in which my mom has taught me that it is possible to handle almost every situation with the same calm mindset.

At 5’5”, my mother is neither the least attractive person you will ever meet, nor the most attractive either. She is right in the middle, and it suits her perfectly. In addition, she is always smiling which accentuates the crinkles at the corners of her eyes. Another notable feature is her strong yet gentle hands. They say you can tell a lot about a person by looking at their hands; this I believe because my mom is the strongest person I know. She is a pretty average person in the way of looks, but once you meet her, you will immediately lose all sight of that previous notion. While her true age is somewhere around fifty, she always acts as if she is a kid. While most adults lose that knowledge of what its like to be an adolescent after the age of thirty, my mom not only still has it, she expresses it on a daily basis, which makes her the most unique person I know. This quality makes me want to be like her because it is something that aids people in connecting to the world, something I'm not very good at. What’s more she has an amazing way with people and animals, I truly believe she could talk to a post and it would answer her. But above all, she is kindhearted; always worrying about others before she assesses her own needs. Through this, she has taught me to love unconditionally, and treat everyone fairly. This is the woman that I have striven to be my entire life, my own personal image of perfection.

Being such an amazing woman, my mom would of course eventually have a lasting effect on me, an effect that would change my ideals. At the age of four, I was having my tonsils removed. I was so scared to go down that hallway into the operating room and wanted my mom to come with me, which was not allowed. However, she reassured me that she loved me and would be right there when I woke up. Hesitantly, and after a lengthy struggle, I left down the hall for the surgery, finally letting go. My mother taught me more than how to be brave that day. She taught me to love and stand by those I cared for in any situation. Another time, when I was six or seven, I had a huge tantrum for some reason and ended up tearing up my entire room before I ended my escapade in tears. And even though I had insulted my mother several times during my tirade, she came over and comforted me after I was finished. Through my tears, I asked her why she was being nice to me, hadn’t I just been really bad? She told me that she knew I did not mean any of it and was just frustrated over something. It was not until long after that incident, that I realized that she had just made crucial move in the game of parenthood; had she pushed me away or punished me, that particular action would have set off a chain reaction of misbehavior and disobedience. But all I knew at that moment was that my mom loved me no matter what.

It would not be until many years later that I would find out that my mother had a difficult childhood. Her parents did not mean to have another child and she was unappreciated by her family so was not treated as lovingly as her older brother. After telling me this one day in the car, she stated that this had been her inspiration when raising me; she wanted to make sure that I always knew I was loved and appreciated. To raise a child so lovingly after not having been treated that way yourself takes a truly amazing person. Looking back, I realize that while she may not have realized it, she has taught me that every situation can be approached with a love and a level head. Because of her, I have learned to be a kinder person, and to think about what I say and do.

Now that I am a Junior in high school, I realize that there were so many points in my life in which my mother made a crucial decision on how to approach a situation that could have a less than desirable outcome if handled the wrong way. At each turn she made what she believed to be the right choice and that is what has made me into the person I am today. Everyday I encounter situations in which I ask myself not only how my mother would handle this, but what the outcome of each choice will be. My mother has taught me to approach each instance with care and to thoroughly review my actions.She is truly a person that has had a great influence on my life.

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