Monday, October 1, 2012

We already have one of those

I think the easiest thing and hardest thing about my growing up years was being Marianne's little sister.  It was easy to be her little sister because I had a stellar example to follow.  I had a built in friend and confidant.  She taught me many things and discouraged me from bad fashion choices (just not often enough--photographic evidence proves that.)

On the downside, she was all that and a bag of chips in our little town and I was her little sister and that's about it.  She was everything I was not...outgoing, tall, popular, athletic, successful in every little thing she tried.

I was...wait for it...her little sister.

Our mom, of course, because that's her job, told me that I had my Things I Was Good At too.

(Oh yeah?  What?)

She assured me they were there.

I was pretty sure she was just saying that.

One day, at parent teacher conferences, Mr. Swabb, the history/government teacher, told my parents that he wished I was more like Marianne.  (Get in line buddy, we all do.)

He said, "Marianne made more comments in class.  She'd argue with me and debate.  I wish Thelma was more like that."

If my mom wasn't already Mother of the Year in my eyes, she earned it in her response, she said, "We already have a Marianne.  We want a Thelma."

My mom saw something.  She saw value.  It took me awhile to come around to her way of thinking and see it for myself.  You can bet your bottom dollar that I hung onto my mom's words though.  She didn't want me to be like Marianne.  She loved Marianne as much as the next guy...probably more...but she wanted me to be me.

I did too.


Marianne said...

This made me cry. I'm glad you're writing about this because I'm struggling with my own authenticity issues right now.

Jerimi said...

How wonderful that your mom went to bat for you! Living an authentic life is one of the most difficult goals I can think of. Thank you for sharing your story. I look forward to reading more of your blog series.


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