I was on the phone with one of my oldest friends the other day and she was talking about the interpersonal issues her 10 year old daughter deals with between girlfriends. It brought us back to all the baloney we pulled in our neighborhood between our crew of 3 and then later 4 girls of the same age. Someone was always on the outs.
I’ll just call my friend Pinky (for Pinky Tuscadero on Happy Days , she was always Pinky and I was Leather, Pinky’s friend). Anyway, Pinky in our friendship was always in control or so it seemed to me then. I remember many “bathroom talks” where I would complain to my mom about Pinky and our friendship.
Yes, my mom and I while I was growing up had our most important talks while she was on the potty with me sitting across from her on the edge of the tub. Her words of wisdom were worth so much to me that I hardly noticed the discomfort of sitting there, we had sliding doors on the tub so I basically sat on top of the metal groove that the doors slid on – OUCH.
On any given day, especially in summer, I would complain that Pinky did this or that to hurt my feelings. Honestly I can’t now remember what those things were. Pinky and I are still friends and I value our friendship as it has evolved more than ever. I do remember though that my mom never got into the fray of our arguments, always gave solid advice that helped me get over being hurt, and ALWAYS stuck up for Pinky. That part did kind of bug me at the time – I mean I was her daughter why stick up for her?
It is so easy to cast blame, to judge, to be defensive, or jealous -it’s human. But mom always looked at things from other peoples perspectives. She always cared about people whether they were rich, poor, popular, or unpopular. It is something that was so innate in her. She was a giver. I can’t say that it is ALWAYS innate in me but oh it is something I try hard to emulate!
That light, it shined bright in my mom, and in the bathroom that humble place, she taught me by example to be kind and give people the benefit of the doubt, a lesson that continues to guide my soul.
I know from our talk the other day that Pinky appreciated it too and so do I. Love you mom!
P.S. My mom would totally snigger at the title of this post (she had a twinkle in her eye that lady!)