I read a post over at Shabby Chic Diva's blog the other day asking who inspired us. She wrote about her mom and her grandmother and included some quotes from other women who had inspired her.
I always feel guilty when I read that kind of question, because I know we're SUPPOSED to say our mothers. Or our grandmothers. Or it's supposed to be a close race between the two.
I am not inspired by my mother. Was not inspired by my grandmother.
I guess it all depends upon one's interpretation of the word "inspired".
My grandmother inspired me not to have favorites. Or to frown and purse my lips in judgment against someone I'm supposed to love. Or stay away from a granddaughter's wedding just because the groom had been married before.
My mother inspired me not to spank a child with a butcher knife. Or scream at random strangers in parking lots. She inspired me not to promise something casually if she wasn't going to follow through.
I was lucky enough, however, to have two older sisters. They inspired me in my early years and continue to do so. They gave me my values, my appreciation for things that really matter, and the realization of the importance of having fun.
They gave me laughter.
And a lot of babysitting jobs.
I also had some teachers who managed to inspire me, when they weren't wishing I would just sit down and shut up. Mostly shut up. My wonderful math teacher in high school, about whom I wrote an earlier post, had to suffer my presence in her class all four years of high school. What a lucky woman she was! More recently I wrote about Roger, English teacher extraordinaire, who made me feel much smarter than I really was. He could have warned me about the comeuppance I would experience in college, though.
Sometimes I wish I had had a better relationship with both my mother and my grandmother. But that would make me a different person, and I (mostly) like who I am.
My greatest fear is that my own daughter will also look back and say she didn't have a good relationship with HER mother, and that HER mother didn't inspire her either. Sometimes I wish I had at least given her a sister to fall back on.