I knew. As soon as I started to speak that my words were valued, heard and most importantly counted. It was learned at the knee of my Mother Margie. She often told this story defining the dynamic in motion between us. She told it for my benefit as she watched my face. I savored every word. She took great pride in the gift she was giving me. The story goes “When I tell my daughter to do something her hand raised in the air in that all-knowing salute. She says “Why Mother” and so I was launched on the road to discovering my own voice and the power it held for me.
She would listen intently as I spoke giving serious consideration to my words and quest for answers. In the early years, I could sense both her bemusement and frustration as I fired off question after question. All while shadowing her around as she moved through the world. I was never quite satiated. I wanted to know more and more and more. Regardless of the explanation given it was never enough. I would repeatedly ask “but why? but why? but why? Finally, she would look me straight in the eyes. Even at that tender age, I knew. I was looking into my own eyes.
Half laughing half serious she would say, “Because Y is a crooked letter”. Temporally satisfied, I would wander off to contemplate exactly how Y could be a crooked letter. It was like contemplating the secrets of the universe. It provided me with the opportunity to seek my own answers and draw my own conclusions. As I moved down the path of learning how to think. It unleashed my imagination and creativity. I still take time daily to contemplate Y to seek solutions and find answers.
The old adage that children should be seen but not heard never applied to my Mother or upbringing. Quite to the contrary. She encouraged all to explore, question and discover on all fronts. I was never told what to do. I was taught how to think. She knew it is the most powerful gift to give a child. Thanks Mom……..