Thanks to my car having BlueTooth and my aversion to driving “alone”, I call my mother a lot. I would call her regardless, because she’s my mother and you keep in touch with people who have done awesome things for you like give you life and raise you right. But lately, I call her almost daily, usually on my drive home from work. We talk about anything and everything. Sometimes we talk about plans for future visits, since I recently moved back into a reasonable visiting radius, and other times we talk about what’s going on in our lives or the lives of our family.
Let me give you a little background about my mother. When I was a teenager, she worked in a religious goods store, now she’s a Business Manager at a local Catholic church. Growing up, my mother was my religious education teacher about every other year (the other years, she taught my brother’s class). I know all of her tricks, and when my brother and I were both done with religious education and she picked the years she liked best and started teaching them again, I continued to stay on as her assistant while I was still in the area.
My parents were always advocates of education extending beyond the classroom and living up to their responsibilities as our primary educators. We were a roadtrip family, making two cross-country moves by car during my childhood, and a large number of other trips to visit family every year. We rarely listened to the radio on these trips because my parents considered this prime family time and a great opportunity for education. My mother used to sit in the passenger seat and read to us from an educational book series by E.D. Hirsch, that is until I took over for her and read from the back seat, eventually replacing the grade-specific information of E.D. Hirsch with the fantasies of J.K. Rowling. During one of the two moves, my brother and I spent an extended time out of school (a month or so) and my mother stepped in with the things she could teach best: handwriting and language roots. My brother was in first grade, I was in fifth, so she worked on his print and my cursive, and we both studies Greek and Latin roots for the duration of our time out of school. I still attribute her with the fact that my cursive is neater than my print (especially since many of my peers don’t use cursive anymore at all, and most people younger than me don’t even know how to use it beyond signing their name) and with my SAT literature scores. Continue reading