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Grateful For The Little Things My Mom Did

by Vidya Sury May 2, 2014 27 comments
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I know my Mom had it rough when raising me – of course she never mentioned it. Even when I was young I understood that my dad, who left us, would never come back, though our family believed otherwise. I am sure the uncertainty of “what’s next?” must have worried my Mom. After all, she was only 18 when she had me. Yet, she was strong and stepped up and made the sacrifices to ensure I had a good upbringing.

It really was the little things she did that makes her such an amazing person. She also taught me to smile through life’s situations after my initial reactions – point was – don’t dwell on the negative stuff. Instead, move on. And as I think back today, I realize that with important life lessons at each stage, I must have imbibed some parenting lessons too!

She Encouraged “Me” Time

As she was only a seventh grader when she got married at 13, she had to struggle to fast track her education so she could support us. We were back at my Grandmother’s place, luckily and she could go to school without worrying about keeping an eye on me all the time. Oh, granted I was an angel, but I was also very active. Too active perhaps! Yet, she wasn’t afraid to let me do my own thing. She understood that alone time helps spark creativity (and it certainly did!) because you have to use what’s around you and make the best of it. After all, I am a child of the 60’s! Because of this freedom, I found a love for art, crafts, nature, reading, and travel.

There’s a parenting lesson I learned here. Children must be encouraged to pursue hobbies that don’t involve you. In fact, it makes sense to challenge them to come up with new ideas and have a contest to see who can do it better. Let them start little projects of their own. Let them create secret hideouts. Let them invent games. Don’t get too worried about them scraping their knees.

Immortalized Us in Photography

Back in the early sixties, obviously we did not have a camera. In spite of being hard up for cash, Mom arranged to get professional photographs of us. Those photos are almost peeling off today – I really ought to scan them. This may not sound like much but I think it’s something special, because looking at old photos is one of my favorite ways to take a break. Beautifully preserved in a vintage album, it showed that even in the muck of things, we still found happiness.

Parenting lesson – family portraits are a great way to preserve memories. I take pictures all the time. When I am upset, all I have to do is look at those photos to bring back the smiles. It is easy. Set up a small budget, make a checklist of family portrait tips (Picture People has some great ones on their site) so you show up looking great, and even better, go with a professional. They’ll immortalize that slice of life. It’s one thing you can feel proud of many years from now when reflecting back on those memories.

Removed the Mythos of Money

One of the things I appreciate most about my Mom is – she never complained about finances with me – she instinctively knew that I might feel sad I couldn’t help in any way. While she kept a lot of the finances private, she made sure I understood the value of frugal living and smart choices when we were to spend money.

I remember how she would take me shopping with a list, give me some money and made me understand the difference between “wants” and “needs”. Today I am much better off, but I still don’t feel compelled to buy items just because I see them on the shelf. I take time to do my research, let my emotions die down, and analyze the value. Doing this has saved me a ton of money in the long run.

Parenting lesson learned here is the importance of taking the time to teach your kids about money. Even if they’re young, it’s important to understand finances because it’s something we all deal with later in life. If they can gain a good grasp on savings, smart buying decisions, and fairness – I believe they’ll grow up to be well-rounded individuals that won’t have to face financial troubles like so many others have.

I know I’ve barely touched the tip of what I’ve learned from my Mom. Just had to share this today!

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What special lessons have you learned from your Mom / Dad / Guardian?

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Tammy May 2, 2014 at 1:49 am

One thing I’ll always regret is not having portraits taken with my mom before she died. We had them all set and then the weather turned bad. And we never figured it out again.

Every year I say we’ll do family pictures. This makes me want to get off my butt and really make it happen. Thanks Vidya.
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Vidya Sury May 2, 2014 at 10:19 am

Tammy, I feel for you. I don’t have many photos, but I am grateful for the few preserved by one of my Uncles, who was kind enough to let me have them. The photos are peeling away, but they’re precious. (note to self: scan those ancient photos). I find that looking at photos lifts my spirits intsantly when I feel low. So they make me cry, too. But that’s okay. There’s tissue.

Hugs – make that photo session happen. Just pick up your own camera and take some shots. It is a great start 😀
Vidya Sury recently posted…Yardsticks

Julie Barrett May 2, 2014 at 5:34 am

Vidya, I was just having a think about my Mom today, remembering all of the things she did for me when I was growing up. I think it’s the small things we appreciate, like the special talents or knowledge that they teach us along the way. Great idea about the professional photos. I hired someone last year to take photos of the boys at the beach but came away with none of me in there. That’s something I will do.
Julie Barrett recently posted…Connecting To Loved Ones Who Have Died

Vidya Sury May 2, 2014 at 10:16 am

Julie, one would assume that with the technology we have today, taking a lot of pics would be easy. Long after we got our digital camera, one day, Sury pointed out that I was in very few photos, because I am always the one behind the lens. 🙂 Got to be conscious. Pictures make such fab memories. They’re my favorite go-to for quick breaks. Please do get those pics of you! Regret has no place in life, especially when we can do certain things easily! Hugs!

KP May 2, 2014 at 5:49 am

I liked the point made on wants and needs.Parents should instill this in young minds as your mom did.
That was a touching tribute to your mom,a great lady who overcame with courage setbacks in life.
KP recently posted…The kind heart

Vidya Sury May 2, 2014 at 10:20 am

Thank you dear Mr.KP. Especially today, children have so much readily available to them, and more commercials bombarding them from all sides, it is easy to see them get carried away. It is an important life-lesson.

🙂 Thank you for your kind words.
Vidya Sury recently posted…Xeroxing Smiles

Beloo Mehra May 2, 2014 at 9:57 am

These are some really valuable life lessons you have learnt from your very wise mom! And I like it how you connect these with your present way of life and what you value. I lost my mother recently – it hasn’t even been six months yet. So I am still “raw” in many ways and don’t feel ready for such kind of reflections. But I really love to read everything you write about your mom, your memories with her and how she raised you. Thank you for being so open and genuine with your words and feelings.
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Vidya Sury May 2, 2014 at 10:23 am

Beloo, let me hold you in a big warm hug. I couldn’t help the tears when I read it isn’t even six months yet. Time may be a healer, but I believe the pain never softens. Deep inside, it stays raw. For me, it has been a little over four years. Yet, I still feel the pain afresh. Life does go on, and I try to tackle it as best as I can.

Take your time to grieve. Think about the happy times.

Love to you.
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Beloo Mehra May 2, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Thank you so much Vidya for your warm hug and these lovely words of kindness and compassion. I may write to you a longer email soon, if that’s okay.
Beloo Mehra recently posted…Z is for Zero and Infinity

Vidya Sury May 2, 2014 at 2:01 pm

🙂 More than okay! ♥ Just write!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Grateful For The Little Things My Mom Did

Jyothi Nair May 2, 2014 at 10:46 am

Such important life lessons my dear. Hugs to you. When I look back , I too see such small things that made all the difference in my life. Maybe I should start a series too some day. It feels great to recollect those of mine when I read yours.
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Vidya Sury May 2, 2014 at 10:49 am

Start making notes, Jyothi! It always feels good to read and share. And isn’t it lovely how most Mothers are similar in the important things, the things that really matter? Hugs. I missed you in April. Hope things are better now.
Vidya Sury recently posted…Zeigarnik Effect

Shilpa Garg May 2, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Some very valuable and very important lessons that every child must learn right from the very beginning!! With each post, my admiration for your mother goes a notch higher! Truly a remarkable and an inspiring lady! Hugs ♥
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David Ryan May 2, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Mums. What are we going to do without them?
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Aditi May 2, 2014 at 1:20 pm

It’s these little valuable lessons we learn at a young age that makes us grow into humble gracious adults. Your mom definitely did a great job with you, and now you with Vidur! Love!
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Marie Abanga May 2, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Hi V, greqt post. My mum taught and still teaches me that it can only get better and that we have to stay optimist inspite any odds. She also teaches me to see the good even in a nerving situation. I got to London two nights ago and missed my stop in a train and by the time l got off that train it was midnight and no ;ore trains and busses. l had to call a cab and that was unforseen with my already being nerved at having to spend 4 hours waiting at border control because their computers blabla. l remembered always wanting to enter a british cab and smiled although in the dark. l imagined myself a queen and faked some waves to an imaginary crow and that did it for me 🙂
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Proactive Indian May 2, 2014 at 5:09 pm

I’ve learnt quite a few lessons from many of my elders. Looking back, I would say that the best lessons can be learnt from self-made people, from people who have faced severe setbacks and from people who work with underprivileged persons.
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Fancy Ranci May 2, 2014 at 6:26 pm

You have inspired me to think and write about the things my own mother did for me. I have a tendency to get caught up in my own mothering and forget to recognize and acknowledge all she did for me.

MIchelle Liew May 2, 2014 at 6:38 pm

She was one amazing lady, Vidya!!! Hooray!
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MIchelle Liew May 2, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Her beauty lies in her humility.
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Loni Townsend May 2, 2014 at 8:03 pm

This post made me both nod my head and wince. My oldest child is 3, and though I try to foster creativity in her, I also have a hard time leaving her alone. Perhaps it’ll be better when her brother is old enough to play with her, but in the meantime, she doesn’t like playing alone.

I also foresee it being difficult to teach her the value of money. My husband and I are well off, and we tend to dote on her, giving her all the fun toys we wished we had growing up. It’s like a double-edged sword. Is money something you can teach a 3-year-old?
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Nikky44 May 2, 2014 at 9:25 pm

My mother taught me to live each day at a time, to smile all the time because life is what it is and getting upset wouldn’t make it better.

Susan Scott May 2, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Thank you Vidya for this major slice on your life – most poignant and extremely interesting. Thank you for sharing. My parents were very strict – no meant no – no argument there. Ice cream was a treat and cool drink was home made – lemonade ginger beer etc. We ate all the food on our plate. Pocket money was earned! Well, I could go on – I definitely passed on those lessons to my grown up sons.
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My Inner Chick May 3, 2014 at 8:43 am

b e a u t I f u l.

She is with you ALWAYS.

& you will meet again in Paradise.

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devangana May 3, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Valuable lessons indeed.Focus on the positives of the life, lovely advice. Can imagine her value very well from this writing. I like all the moms in the world who give valuable pieces of advices to their children. Positive parents surely creates positive children.

Birgit May 4, 2014 at 10:10 pm

My mom taught me so much and gave me so much strength. She was so patient with me when I could not understand math. She taught me that values and tradition are important. Censorship is bad because it doesn’t stop at one thing (she grew up under Hitler and saw books being burned). She taught me to not show fear when it counted (I was severely bullied). She had great compassion and forgiveness. She was there through thick and thin. She never hid money matters away and helped me be a great saver (I am a credit counsellor). She had optimism and believed in adventure and education
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Melanie May 21, 2014 at 5:48 am

Your mom who has made all the sacrifices to get you through the hard times is special. She belongs to a people category called martyrs. Give her a Hug everyday!


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