My mum is the most humble woman I know. I was reminded of this when my oldest son drag out a box of memorabilia this week and started digging through old photos, newspaper clippings and found some beautiful treasures I forgot that I had. I started pointing out who was who, that’s Omie, Opa and we laughed at their hair styles, glasses and clothes.
Spencer then found a newspaper clipping and I read it out to him. It was from the 50’s, when my mum was in university in Canada and I was reminded so quickly at how awarded she was, how driven, intelligent and worldly she’d been, Spencer was amazed. ‘That’s Omie?’ And the question period started…Where’s the Sorbonne? She went to school there? Why was chosen to go to Brussels to the World Fair?’ Wow…we were both left a bit awestruck – Spencer at the revelation that his Omie was in the newspaper and had such accolades and me, at the reminder of just how amazing a woman my mum was and is, yet remains so humble about it.
It’s so admirable that despite all of the accreditation, awards and achievements my Mum didn’t really ‘use’ this to help us learn as kids or motivate us to achieve. She demonstrated all of these attributes through her teaching of values, family morals and unwavering belief in us. There was never a question about why we wanted to do something. There was always support. There wasn’t a lot of money but she tucked every last bit away to support us when she could.
I came home in grade 10 and said I wanted to go to Italy on an exchange program. I’d filled out the forms at school and was going to an information evening about it. There wasn’t a question or discussion about ‘how do we pay for it’. She knew what an opportunity it was, she helped make it happen and encouraged me from the sidelines. That trip to Italy was one of the best things I did as a teenager and was so important in forming who I am as an adult. The language I learned, the friends I made and still keep in touch with, the sense of independence it gave me. All of these things contributed so strongly to who I am today.
So thank you Mum for teaching me through your humble, quiet, supportive and loving way. I just hope that I can be a little bit of the mother you are, for my own 3 boys as they grow up to be men.