Top 10 skills my parents taught me – Part 1

My parents tried to teach me a lot. Some of it stuck. Some of it didn’t (my fault, not theirs).

Anyway, these are the top ten I can think of now, the ones that actually stuck, the ones I want to pass on to their grandchildren someday.

1. They taught me to read.

Before I could sit up on my own, my mom read to me. She probably read me more books than she read my three other brothers and sister combined. She says it’s one of the best things she did for me when I was young. It might not have worked for everyone, but I’m guessing the success rate would probably be pretty high. I certainly learned to love reading, the ability to go to a different world through stories and learn about interesting things and ideas, from those early years.

2. They taught me to eat anything.

I remember sitting for what seemed like hours at the kitchen table because I didn’t want to eat a tunafish sandwich. Other days, it was canned asparagus, which my dad later admitted was disgusting, or some other vegetable of the day. My parents didn’t necessarily teach me to enjoy all foods, but by teaching me to eat anything, they taught me the value of not being picky.

3. They taught me to be wise with money.

We didn’t have a lot of money growing up. In the early years in Louisville, my dad worked at Sam’s Club during the week and pastored the church on weekends. My mom stayed home and homeschooled us. We didn’t have a lot of money, so I learned to appreciate its value. My dad can remember weighing the price of a cable he wanted for our stereo system. It only cost a few dollars, but at the time, he knew that meant we’d have to be even more thrifty with our grocery money. Those times were good for me because they taught me both sides of valuing money, the save carefully side but also the spend wisely side.

4. They taught me to pray.

On the way to church every week, my parents would pray. Each of the kids in the car would pray too, whether we liked it or not. Most of the time, we liked it, maybe not in the beginning, but it grew on us. It became a way of life and spilled outside the car. When someone was sick, we’d pray. When we lost something around the house, we’d pray. When the day turned out especially well, we’d pray. So now I pray, even when we’re not “we” anymore.

5. They taught me to be thankful.

“Just be thankful,” Momma always said. I didn’t always appreciate that. I probably still wouldn’t, but their lifestyle overall taught me to be grateful for what I have. I can’t remember how many times I thought I was bored because, I thought, I had nothing to do. It took years to realize how much I have, and it keeps me going every day, probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned ever in life.

To be continued on Father’s Day. For now, Happy Mother’s Day, Momma! Thank you for all you’ve taught me.

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