Welcome to April’s Secret Subject Swap - Parents

Welcome to April’s Secret Subject Swap. Again 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  
Sit back, grab a cup - or in my case today, a milk bottle - and check them all out:



Careful, though!
Baking In A Tornado 
                                    
My subject is 

What are ten things you would thank one of your parents for?




It was submitted by Dribbles and Grits - thank you!

What a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the many things to be grateful for! As a kid, and even as a working grown-up, I didn't realize what this might even include! But once I became a parent myself, whoa! My respect for Mom & Dad assumed vast proportions!

Here's why… 

Sacrifices 
My parents had me when they had barely finished their education. For the first six months, they shared a studio apartment with me, then they moved into the house my Dad grew up in. For my Mom it was a new city, she didn't have a car, in our immediate neighborhood there didn't live any other young families, and it was winter, so it was hard to meet other mothers. Dad was working long hours. She had given up her job until my brother and I were in elementary school. I am not sure how I would have coped in her situation. Keep in mind, there was no internet either!



Positive Attitude
Despite all of the above, I remember my Mom always being in a cheerful mood. Sometimes, early in the morning, it was annoying even. She was chatting and whistling, and all I wanted to be was grumpy and left alone. Her being a Kindergarten teacher must have helped setting the environment, and even though I can't copy her style now that I am a Mom myself, I am aware that most things are easier to handle with a laugh than a grim expression.


Faith in our Abilities / Fostering Independence
Maybe it was a conscious effort, maybe it was convenient that I was just eager to be a big girl when my baby brother arrived. Either way she let me do stuff by myself very early, even if it may have taken longer or I wouldn't do it "the right way".  
Groceries list and wallet at hand, she let little me walk to the neighborhood store for milk, eggs and apples, and I proudly carried  home my acquisitions. One day I witnessed how a customer had forgotten her wallet, and they just wrote down her total in a booklet and let her go. Genius! I desperately wanted a rainbow pencil and of course I didn't have any money! Yes, you guessed right, I bought it "on credit", I even threw in a couple of chewing gum soccer balls for good measure. Can you believe the sales clerk let me go through with it?





No hard Feelings
Several days later after my secret purchase, the grocery store manager asked my Mom if she would mind to balance her account? Of course she was mortified. Paid the money and probably shopped at a different store for a long time. She made me promise not to do it again, and I had to do some chores around the house, but she never brought it up again. And if she did, it was always with a smirk and some pride about her daughter's business sense. This is only an example of how forgiving she is. When we broke something, we had to try and fix it - and next time be more careful! She rarely even scolded us. Still we knew exactly when we had done something wrong. How'd she do that..?


Work hard for you Money
I am not sure if my Dad has ever learned that trick how to buy now, pay later. He was all about not spending more than you have, or better yet, saving it. Between Christmas and New Year he always made us take our piggy banks to the local bank and deposit our coins. Then he showed us how to calculate the interest we would make. It wasn't encouraging. As soon as I was in high school, I had summer jobs in factories, retail and gastronomy, and I babysat on weekends. That's how I got my first walkman, stereo equipment, CDs, you name it!


Business before Pleasure
While Mom knew that a little treat may work wonders for motivation (aka bribing?), Dad was all about doing our work before even thinking about watching TV or getting a snack. I was his reluctant little garden gnome, mowing the lawn and sweeping the driveway on Saturday afternoons. Up to this day, I hate am not a fan of gardening, but sure enough the value as such has stuck with me. In combination with a mild case of perfectionism, this makes for long, busy days, and sadly, I often end up too exhausted to enjoy downtime. I am working on it, though.



Baking
As I am writing this, some heavy rain is pouring down outside. 
Perfect weather to make a cake - that's what you would hear from my Mom. Not only does it make for a nice smell in the house, and the warmth of the oven makes you feel less chilly, but you are in for a treat!
She let us "help" and cleaned up, and more importantly, she told us that flour worms are a myth, and that's it's totally OK to eat dough! 


Photography

During my first decade on this earth, Dad was the family photographer. It was a time of expensive "real" film that needed to be sent to the lab for development. I think he only ever purchased one film per year, so when we finally got to pick up our pictures, there was the Christmas tree, our birthdays, Easter, vacation and the first day of school in the same envelope. Then Mom took over and happily and generously clicked away. I am so grateful not only to have those pictures today, but for having picked up on her passion!

Classical Music (and Wine)
Two of Dad's passions. When we were kids we didn't appreciate Beethoven of course. Plus we weren't supposed to run in the house and shriek. It flawed his musical experience. 
On Sunday before I started college, my parents and I went to see "out of Africa".
Not only was it the only time that this happened (the three of us going to the movies) but there was this one scene: Robert Redford washing Meryl Streep's hair somewhere in the middle of Kenyan nowhere, and he brought his gramophone and played Mozart's clarinet concerto in A major, adagio (K622) 


That's when I realized how beautiful and powerful "instrumental" music could be. Hey, it was the 80s!
You've heard me talking about wine enough in other posts!
It's a main ingredient for a decent lasagna.

Speak up! Ask for help! Say something!
How many times did she have to tell me to open my mouth when I wanted something. Even though I was a cheeky girl, I hated having to ask (for) something. I preferred muddling through by myself. (See "independence") Of course when the result didn't turn out like I had planned, (see "perfectionist") I was bummed. "Why didn't you say something?" I still hear this. Just the other day I was shoving the contents of two trash bags into one. Hubs was standing there, watching. When I was done, he was like "do you need help with that?" Now I want to know: Did I really have to ask? Shouldn't he have offered to help earlier? PS: I made him take it out. The trash.