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Signs Of Life

Columns by Pamela Majteles

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Who You Know

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Posted by pam on January 14, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Originally published May 11, 2007

This column is reprinted with permission from The Hills Newspapers.

It’s who you know.  When looking for answers, it helps to know the right people.  Then, you can never go wrong.

I know a lot of people who know a lot of things.  Some are doctors, lawyers, and teachers.  Others work in business, science, and the arts.  Some raise children, organize fundraisers, and help the community.  Among them, I am certain they have all the answers.

Yet, when faced with questions, both big and small, I turn to just one person.  No matter what the subject, my mother always seems to have the answer.  Whether it’s questions about finances, health, or world affairs, she has the answer.  Or, questions about children, travel, or entertainment, she has the answer.

Despite the way it sounds, she is not one of those interfering, know-it-all mothers.  She always keeps a respectful distance.  Regarding her opinions, she offers them only when asked.

It just so happens I do ask her opinions.  A lot.  As for me, I am not one of those sheltered momma’s girls.  Most of my life, I have lived in cities far away from my mother.  Nonetheless, she is the first person I think to call when looking for answers.

It turns out I am not alone.  I know others who still look to their mothers for answers.  Recently, a friend wanted suggestions on where to go for a camping trip.  Although his mother had not gone camping in 40 years, he followed her advice.

Another friend thought she smelled gas in her house.  When the gas company came to look for a leak, they found nothing.  Still not convinced, she contacted her mom.  Her mom’s advice was to keep looking.  (No gas leak was ever found, but she kept looking.)

My husband continues to be dumbfounded by the fact I call my mother first for medical advice.  Although my mom is not a doctor, I automatically call her when one of my kids is sick.  Sometimes, my second call is to the pediatrician, but only after my mom has put me on the right track.

It comes down to trust.  When looking for answers, I cannot think of anyone I trust more than my mother.  Her expertise on a particular subject doesn’t matter.  She always offers the best she has got.  I know she will never steer me wrong.

Mothers do this, because it’s their job.  When the job is done right, a mother gives the best of herself, even on her worst day.   She is motivated by love and compensated with trust.

As a mother myself now, I feel the responsibility of my kids’ trust.  So far, the questions have been pretty easy.   As they inevitably get harder, I wonder if I will be able to come through for my kids, the same way my mother has always come through for me.

I take comfort in the fact that I don’t need to know everything.  If there is something I cannot answer, I know someone who can.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License.

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