I didn’t grow up on a farm. Neither good nor bad – that’s simply fact. My mother, however, had rural roots. (I think that’s fairly inevitable since she hailed from east central Iowa. Olin, Iowa, to be exact.) That rural background impacted her personality and lifestyle, and then, in turn, impacted me.
While growing up, many of the lessons my mom taught my brothers and I stemmed from that background:›She taught us how to win and lose with class. After all, she’d been there. Sure, she’d earned blue ribbons, but she’d earned white ribbons and participation ribbons as well. She knew what it meant to win with grace and lose with dignity. She passed that lesson on to us.
›She taught us how to care for and respect animals. Back in her childhood, my mom raised and showed beef cattle. Since we grew up in town, we didn’t have cows of our own. Instead she let us raise and show rabbits (lots of rabbits … probably more than city ordinance would have allowed). Still, it taught us responsibility in caring for animals. As we got older, one brother showed cattle and the rest of us showed sheep (all were housed at friends’ farms). Every step of the way, she was there beside us, supporting us and serving as an example of how to care for and respect the animals.
›She taught us to do everything to the fullest, even the dreaded 4-H record books. She would never do it for us, but she’d sit next to us as we pounded away on the typewriter filling out the forms and writing stories about our projects. I’m certain it was much in the same way her father did for her.
This Mother’s Day, I thank my mom for the lessons she has taught me – the lessons that stemmed from her rural upbringing. Happy Mother’s Day!