The Best Thing My Mom Ever Taught Me {09.14.11}

My mom drove me crazy when I was a kid. An author and children’s literacy expert, she was hellbent on preparing me to be a good writer. She read and corrected everything I wrote – challenging me to think harder, express more and expand my vocabulary. I can still feel what it was like to have her hover over me at the dining room table, gently pointing out ways I could make a sentence stronger or urging me to replace my “mashed potato words” – the ones that were bland, boring, and flavorless {I distinctly recall the word “nice” being a pet-peeve for her}.

Oh, man. I hated it. But I’m so grateful for it now.

My dad recently asked me if I could pinpoint the first time I knew I was a good writer. It was in sixth grade, when my teacher chided me for handing in a report on pandas that, she insisted, I couldn’t have possibly written all by myself. It was all at once frustrating and invigorating; her misplaced scolding informed me that I was a good writer. Too good for her classroom, apparently.

And to this day, no skill has served me more than writing. I can write a heartfelt letter, a compelling press release, an engaging radio ad, an impromptu lullaby, a touching thank you note, a kick-ass resume, a succinct email, an inspiring speech, a thoughtful blog post. Words give me wings and I want my own kids to know their power, too.

I had a full-circle moment on Monday, as I sat next to Ryder at the kitchen table while he did his third grade homework – writing a story about his summer. I found myself swelling with pride as I watched him choose his words carefully and ask about punctuation {“do I need that dot with a tail here?”}. My hovering over him – just as my mom did over me – is starting to pay off.

He hates it as much as I did. But I know that every grunt and groan and sigh from him is a sign he’s growing wings.

Liv Lane

Liv Lane

As an intuitive adviser, author & teacher, I help brave-hearted women illuminate their paths to purpose through powerful classes, individual readings, workshops and writings. This blog, started in 2006, chronicles my journey and offers light for yours. Thrilled you're here!
Liv Lane