April 2, 2012- After returning from a weekend writer’s conference at Eastern Mennonite University, I’ve decided to take the plunge and start a blog. I’m on a writing journey to write a memoir, but I think I’ll start with using some pieces I’ve already published in a local newsletter, New Horizons. This first one is about my mom.
Having a 1960’s Career Mom
Written Fall 2011
My mom took on a part-time job when I was eight years old. At the time, I disliked it very much, mostly because I was afraid of getting sick at school and there being no one able to pick me up. I had to wait in the principal’s office quite a few times in my elementary years, which was embarrassing because it seemed like everyone else’s mom was able to drop things off quickly. Worse yet, during the “hot lunch” program of the winter months at Penn View Christian School when mothers brought lunches, I wished my mom had the flexibility in her schedule to bring a meal like everyone else’s mom. I was keenly aware that I was different than most of my friends…their moms of course didn’t work outside the home. In the summers, if my brother Steve was not available, it meant a note greeting me on the kitchen counter with a chore that needed to be accomplished and a time that my mom would be home again.
But now that I’m older I realize that my mom showed me at a young age that women are capable. Through her example of getting a job outside the home, she showed me that women have intelligence and a skill set that enables them to not just be dependent on others. She didn’t always think her feelings were taken into consideration in her close relationships, but she showed me that regardless of this, women could earn a living, balance a check book, and provide for their family. She didn’t let her inexperience or self-defeating thoughts keep her down.
Through my mom’s example, I began to see how a woman’s spirit could be challenged but not extinguished. She showed me in a time when “female submission” was the lay of the land that a marriage could include open communication, disagreement, and compromise. Many of these attributes, mom did not strive to teach me, but I see now that her unflappable determination as a woman and as a person with a right to be heard, made me the woman I am today. –BBM