For my Mom on Mother's Day and Every Other Day

A letter to and about my Mom and what she has taught me. Sometimes I can be sentimental. 


First Grade: Emotional Intelligence

Walking to my parents' car after class one day I found a wounded baby bird on the sidewalk. I wanted to help, but thought to find an adult instead of touching it. Before I could trot off to find a teacher, a group of six or seven fifth graders stumbled upon the bird, not noticing me alone trying to gather my wits. One boy grinned, raised his leg, and stomped the bird. Guts flew everywhere and the girls screamed and ran, then the boys cackled and ran after the girls. 

Where bird had been there was only flat, bloody feathers. I sniffled, not wanting to be seen crying, and then when I got to the car bawled all the way home into my bedroom where I would cry for another few hours. I told my Mom I did not want to go to school the next day to be around people who were so cruel. My mom told me it was okay to be sad, and that, "sometimes you need to cry, but you can't let this keep you from going to school." When I was done crying we wrote the kid's name on a piece of paper and burned it in the grill in the backyard. 


When it comes to emotional intelligence, especially negative feelings, "don't bottle it up, but don't dwell on it forever. Really feel that negative feeling one time and then throw it out and don't let it get in the way of your living life." Exploring and confronting emotions without letting them run your life is a prerequisite of being happy and sane. I still think about the boy and the bird often, and one time after a nasty breakup twenty years 

Third Grade: Self Confidence

Walking to my pa