My mother’s generosity

Mexican stamp

My mother always loved to help everyone in any way possible. If she met a family that was down on their luck, she would help them, even though we were just slightly better off than them.

Once when I came home after school, I went to my room to read my comic books and–they were all gone! I asked my mother where they were and she said she had given them away. She said, “I didn’t think you wanted them.” Of course, I wanted them, but my mother had helped a family and their boys needed something to read! But why my comic books?

When we went to Mexico one winter, we had our fun there for two months. But then, as we were leaving, my mother, with great ceremony, made us give all our clothes that we had brought with us to our cousins. We went back to Chicago with little more than the clothes we were wearing. I had to give my favorite boots to my cousin. You know the kind: yellow leather high-top construction boots. I argued with my mother the day before we left about this and I refused to give away my favorite boots. As we were putting our luggage in the car to go to the train station, My mother told me to give my boots to my cousin. Since all the family was standing there giving us a warm sendoff, I didn’t argue. I gave my boots to her and I hugged her warmly and we kissed each other before we left.

When I went to Mexico last December, she reminded me about the boots that I had all but forgotten. She told me how much she enjoyed wearing them and how she always thought of us because she wore my boots. Only then, did I feel happy about giving my boots to her.

4 thoughts on “My mother’s generosity

  1. David Diego,

    Te encontré en Things White People Like, comentarios sobre el artículo de Rachel Donadio que me encantó!, lo recorté y lo voy a plastificar. Tengo el mismo problema que tu: mi marido leia mucho pero enviudé, y ahora acá en USA a todos los tipos les fascina The Da Vinci Code, y es además lo único que han leído (y leerán, a menos que salga una secuela).

  2. Ok Dr. D. If you are running for president, you got my vote! You are amazing! You give me so much food for thought with your writing. I have a great understanding of human development, how children learn and all that great stuff that allow teachers to be better at educating children and the child within each adult. However, I was only able to connect the gap between my own cognitive education and cultural values until I started reading your stuff. Your mom’s (as well as my mom’s) methods of transmitting her values were not “developmentally appropriate”, but definitely they were effective. You often make me reflect about my own childhood, my cultural values and how different I have been in transmitting them to my children. Neat stuff huh? Do you realize the effect your writing has in people? Thanks for sharing!

  3. Ima, I agree with you that it would have been much nicer for my mother to ask first, but she knew that I would say no. So she just wouldn’t ask. It was much easier for her. And now that I think of it, I was probably better off not arguing about why I wouldn’t give up my comic books and then having to give them up anyway. My mother always felt that anything that was ours was also hers. But heaven help us if we ever took something of hers!

  4. Is it just me or does it seem that it would have been nicer of your mom to ask you first about your own items? I can see giving away food/pantry items, furniture that your family might not need, extra small appliances…but personal items ought to be optional and discussed first. Just my opinion though. It’s generous of her to want to help but it sounds like she robbed from her own family to help others!

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