My mom was unconventional at least from my generation’s perspective. She wasn’t the warm fuzzy type. Perhaps it was the generation, but I would say our mother was probably an early adopter of a philosophy of parenting that today is called “free range parenting”. This is why we kids had so many adventures and the boys got in so much mischief! I could tell you tales!
Here’s one. Weapons were a big deal in my family. The guys were hunters and fishers and outdoorsy types. We were taught how to use them, including a bow and arrow. I know, I know, you’re thinking about those cute little plastic arrows with the rubber tips. This is NOT what we learned on. We learned on hunting bows. The bows were fiberglass, I think. I was partial to a pretty mint green one. And the practice arrows were metal tipped. I won’t get into the tips on the actual ones you hunt with.
We lived in a typical suburban neighborhood and Bob told us to be careful when we practiced. DON’T aim in the direction of another neighbor’s house. He didn’t want to have to deal with the complaints if we missed the target. So what did we kids think was a good idea? Line the targets up against the back of our house, walk back to the edge of our backyard and shoot towards the house. This was typical Jones behavior and I don’t remember receiving feedback or suggestions to change it. Until the day one of us missed and fired one through the kitchen window. The only reason it missed hitting my mother was because she had leaned over at precisely that moment to do that thing she hated – load a dirty dish into the dishwasher.
I used to wonder how my mother tolerated all this chaos, but now that I myself am a mother and grandmother, I think I understand. My mother could tolerate a lot of nonsense because she was focused on her mission. What my mother understood as mission critical was to be the wife and mother who created a nest for all her chicks to fly home to. Wherever she lived, she created home.
LIFE LESSON #6: If we understand what our mission is, then we don’t get but so distracted by the chaos of other people’s choices. We can stay focused. We can carry on.