A Reflection on Childhood Passions and Kudos to Mom.
The other day, I was laughing at all of the flower arrangements we have in our home. Six at the moment. Two are from the farmer's market, and four are from the yard. It seemed so ridiculous to me, but it makes my heart so glad to see all of the flowers, and to have the luxury of being able to buy them each week at the market, and to have them in our yard. It brought back memories of being ten to twelve years old in Gingoog. I used to gather flowers around the yard for arrangements in our house. My mom noticed this, and made me Officially in Charge of flowers in our home. We procured a flower suki (vendor you have an exclusive or favored relationship with) that would come to our house every week, and I got to take our money and buy whichever blooms I liked and then put them together inside. I felt so important, and my mom really affirmed my creativity and eye for beauty, not to mention humoring this indulgence each week.
A couple of other passions I had during those years also came to mind. I loved animals and really really wanted to have a goat. So I saved my allowance and was approved to buy one. I took care of her devotedly, and she was so much fun! She had two kids ever six months, and although we sold them, the money was mine to keep! My mom even helped me manage this small business remotely for a couple of years when I was at school. I still think of Oreo so fondly.
Cooking was my other great love, and I remember as a nine year old, being allowed to cook my own meat "Japanese" style in the kitchen with our helpers when I had a friend over to eat sitting on the floor with chopsticks made from skewers. Mom was always game for letting me cook just about anything, provided that I read the recipe three times and get out ALL the ingredients I needed first (after a few crises.) In sixth and seventh grade, I spent a lot of time at our landlady Mrs. E's house. Her side business was baking, and she taught me how to bake and ice cakes (think big Mexican birthday cakes,) including making icing flowers on a toothpick. I began baking really fudgy cakes that you can't find in our town, and found a regular buyer for my cakes (we're talking one per week-- nothing too ambitious!) I sat down with my parents and figured out how much the ingredients for each cake would cost, including gas for the stove to bake them, then paid them their expense and pocketed a pretty decent amount of money. And a great lesson in math and business.
I was pleased to realize that my love for homemaking, animals and cooking were there from childhood, and had been nurtured in me. I take so much pleasure in these things now (although I am having to wait on the goat purchase at this point) and I am so thankful to my mom for recognizing and reinforcing these passions. She had such a "yes" spirit about the things I was interested in, and that is something I really want to do for my kids. Thanks Mom!