My mother was a perfectly imperfect human in many ways, and I have forgiven her, in absentia of course, for all the weird things she did, like make me wear tunics to school in the 7th grade to cover up my well developed you know whats.
But she was a class act. I say it that way because it was one of her pet peeves. She thought that if you had to mention it, you weren't. But, she was.
She drilled mega doses of manners and niceties into me that I cannot ever discard or let go. I thank her for things I take for granted:
knowing how to set a table
chewing with my mouth closed
opening doors for others
leaving a place better than when I found it
the art of the thank you note.
I'll thank my father, while we're at it, for teaching me the art of inquisitiveness and a love of words.
In an earlier post, I mention the Studio in a Shoe Box of my childhood, filled with paper dolls, valentines and tiny plastic scissors. The box is bigger today, but the idea is the same: be prepared.