I grew up and turned into my mother . . . .
Anyone who knows my mom knows that that’s a really good thing. My mom is one of the nicest, gentlest, and smartest people I know. I hope that I take after her a little in all those wonderful traits but that’s not really what I’m talking about. (Truth be told, my personality is much more like my dad and that’s a pretty good thing too.)
This gradual lifestyle change that we’ve been on has been pretty exciting. I’ve learned so much about trying to live a simpler and cleaner life. I’ve been working on my first garden, a beautiful new quilt, preparing more natural whole foods for my family, and learning how to use medicinal herbs. As I was thinking about all of these different aspects of “homesteading”, I realized that I’ve turned into my mother.
She was homesteading before it was even a cool byword!
I credit a lot of my knowledge to my mom. I love to sew because she taught me how at a young age. She was adamant that I should know how to cook and patiently taught me from early on. Unfortunately, when I was younger, there were many things that I didn’t care to learn about from her. And oh, she tried!
My mother is an avid gardener and has been for as long as I can remember. There were so many times that she would point to yet another herb or plant she had grown to tell me it’s name and I would nod and pretend to care. In one ear and out the other.
My brother and I were the only kids that I knew that had to take echinacea drops during the long Michigan winters. Of course, that’s not a fact we would share with our peers. When we did get sick, Mom would give us some herbal concoction that we’d protest but it always made us feel better.
When I was in high school, we had about 12 laying hens in a little chicken house in our backyard. I was too oblivious to really care about the monetary and health value those farm-fresh eggs would bring us. All I knew (I thought) was that chickens were dirty, lots of hard work, and just plain dumb. At one point I vowed that I would NEVER have chickens! Now that I have to shell out $4/dozen at the local farmer’s market for some quality eggs – I long for a few “girls” of my own. Just a few, mind you.
These are just a few examples of the knowledge that I wish I had learned from my mother as she tried to teach me. Luckily, she loves me enough (she has to – she’s my mom) to re-teach me as I call her for help. She has talked me through some of my garden woes, discussed virtues of different chicken breeds, and is truly supportive when I call excitedly about my new “discoveries”.
Which I’m sure she already knew about.
Now, as I go about sharing these things with my young sons, I wonder just how much they’ll take away with them when they’re grown. Hopefully, I can give them a passion for a healthy, hard-working life but maybe they’ll be like their mom. They might be enticed by a convenient lifestyle of Tuna Helper, Spaghettio’s, and microwave dinners when they leave my house but I bet you, they’ll come around just like I did.