Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Thanks to my Mom...

Yesterday was the reunion of the Mills College strike of 1990

I have spent a lot of time in the past month, reconnecting with old Mills friends, reminiscing about how much this short span of my life helped form the person I am today...and remembering how I was not such an easy person to get along with at that time.

  I had dropped out of Mills, returned home, returned back to the Bay Area..only to discover that I was (gasp) pregnant with my oldest son. I was supposed to go to the SF Music Conservatory, but (ahem) was part of the process that blocked my own Mills transcripts from being sent!. This was my crash course in civil disobedience. My Mills peers fed me vitamin C..for the baby.. during the early strike days, and through it all I maintained my quest to be the true Renaissance Woman. Half-way through the strike I returned to Texas and began forming my own family. I continued to write letters to Trustees and watch the results on t.v.  This was before we all had internet..and I couldn't afford too many long-distance calls!

  My poor mom, did not know if I was coming or going! Yet, she stood beside me in whatever I chose to do. Now..she did not stand by silently. She was happy to give me her opinions along the way. But I always knew that she was standing by me..even if I didn't know how to stand on my own.

  As I was reflecting on all of this, it occurred to me, that my mother has shaped me in more ways than I can ever imagine. Even  more than I like to give Mills credit for. My years at Mills are without a doubt, some of the  most influential in my adult life.. but my mom..she shaped my beliefs, my sense of compassion.

So for her, I would like to give this list of thanks.

Thank you.   for teaching me to be bold  (and to be bold politely).
You taught me to never fear new places,languages, people or things. It is an invaluable gift.

Thank you   for  teaching me the art of conversation..and for passing this on to your grandchildren.  Day after day, week after week and year after year of conversation. You taught me more through conversation alone,  than you can ever imagine.

Thank you  for teaching me I can always ask for directions.

Thank you  for teaching me the value of long-term commitment.

Thank you  for teaching me to stay in motion, when things get tough.

Thank you  for showing by example..that I can work when I want (or feel I  need) and stay home when I want (or feel I need) That I am truly free to engage in living.

Thank you    for supporting me when I am downright obnoxious, and trusting that "this, too, shall pass".

Thank you    for teaching me that "No one is better than me, and I am better than no one."

This morning I saw some photos of current Mills students celebrating the reunion of the Strike. It brought me to tears, to think that another 20  years of women had the luxury of a women's education. An education, by the way, whose goal is NOT anti-men. Rather, it is an education that allows for a small window of opportunity  to really focus on women. A chance for an almost unparalleled view of the world.

Very rarely do you get to say in your life..I was part of something bigger than myself....and here is the benefit of that. The Mills Strike is noted in history as a successful strike.
       We had a revolution.
       There was childcare,
        there was consensus,
       we sent thank you notes,
      we cleaned up after ourselves,
       and we won.
        We won!

I would not have been part of this experience (nor carried the knowledge of this experience into anything I do now). Nor would my own children be budding social-activists, (Pictured are Cody, Austen and friends with Darfur Coalliton at MLK March) if my mom had not been the woman she was and is.

Thanks Mom.

Hope you have a great Mother's Day. Your welcome to come make raviolis with us. (Yvonne is coming up). We're having a ravioli day.

Weekly Menu:
Monday: Irish stew, variety of fruits, dinner rolls, salad
Tuesday: Home-made pizza, stuffed clams, grapes
Wednesday: breakfast jacks, salad
Thursday: spaghetti, bread-sticks, green beans
Friday: zucchini bake, wild rice, sliced tomatoes and carrots
Saturday: corn-bread, beans and salad
Sunday: home-made spinach raviolis. 

1 comment:

Christina said...

I have tears...
You move me.