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One day, I peeled an apple and the peel did not break. While holding up the long strand of peel, I gleefully proclaimed that I was good a peeling apples, and I could make a career of it. My mother intoned: "That's the thing about a career: you only get to do the one thing, over and over." I was crushed. I had expected praise, and I got slam-dunked. |
After she made her devastating observation of my success, I was horrified at the idea of having to do the same thing, over and over, for the rest of my life. I vowed I would never, ever do that. And I never have.
I've been a nanny, a factory production worker, a restaurant worker and a sales clerk, I've been an office worker, a mechanic and later (after some education) an engineer, and now I am a teacher and traveler. The only stability in my life was, and still is my mother's grandchildren. For them I stayed in one place, long enough to assure their future success.
At the time I thought it was rather cruel of my mother to ridicule my success, but now I see that she was giving me the freedom to experience everything life has to offer without being tied to a social must: a stable career. My life has been so rich because of her observation.
My mother is now 19 years in her grave. Still, there is not a day when I don't think of her and pay her tribute. Wish everyone who qualifies Happy Mother's Day!