My mom’s family came over to my house for Christmas this year. We had tons of yummy food, including beef on wick (a Western New York staple) but a recipe I don’t really care for myself. We also had chicken cutlets. I had the what I thought was a somewhat average idea to put a chicken cutlet on a kimmelwick roll and make myself a little chicken sandwich. But why am I sharing this completely average story?
My uncle happened to be standing near me and upon seeing what I was doing, laughed and said, “Ah! Did you get that from me?!” What I really wanted to say was, “No, that’s just how I want to eat my sandwich today,” but I laughed, like I was agreeing, because I came to a realization right then and there. Adults really enjoy giving kids the best gift of all, and that is their scholarly advice, even it’s just how to eat a sandwich.
So I got to thinking of the best advice (aka gifts) from my mom and my dad over the years.
From the age of about seven, my mom continually said to me, “Don’t ever, ever invite yourself over to someone else’s house.” If I talked back to her or snuck some more dessert at dinnertime, I could usually get away with it, but inviting myself over to a friend’s house without being invited first? No, that was a complete deal breaker. In sum, my mom taught me all about manners, plus all that other good stuff like empathy, sympathy and good humor.
My dad on the other hand, the owner of a landscape company and a good businessman, didn’t care so much about the manners. On a weekly basis, he would say to me, “Abbey, when you’re having problems getting what you want or need, you’ve got to go right to the top.” The top employee, the manager, the boss, you get the idea. (He also always told me that he hates odd numbers and his favorite number is six, but I wouldn’t consider that advice, really.) I use this lesson frequently, more so today than I did as a child. So far it hasn’t steered me wrong and I always make a point to tell my dad when I use his advice because he gets a huge kick out of that.
So maybe it has taken me 22 years to realize this, but our parents give us extraordinary gifts all times of the year, not just on Christmas! I think I need to start a category on here called, “Real Adult Thoughts.” Thanks Mom and Dad!