Sunday, May 9, 2010

My mother made me a better writer by doing nothing

My mom is an amazing individual (even if most people can say that about their own mothers.) Honestly my mom is Martha Stewart and June Cleaver and Oprah all rolled into one. And it is to her, on this Mother's Day, that I owe a good portion of my love for and ability to write.

When I was in grade school I began to love the concept of putting pen to paper to come up with something unique and interesting to read by another person. I don't have any of my early writings, but I believe it is safe to say... they were horrible. At some point, I don't remember what year, I had to take one of those standardized tests. You know, the kind that mean nothing but are required and the results arrive in the mail. When the kids in my class started talking about their test results I was surprised that I'd yet to see mine. When I asked my mom where the scores were she told me it wasn't important as long as I was doing my best in school.

Fast forward a year or two. I took the same test and when I asked about the results I got the same response. It doesn't matter because my parents knew I was trying. It wasn't until I was in high school, excelling at the English writing courses and starting the school paper that my mom told me the ulterior motive behind not showing me the scores.

I had scored the lowest on the writing portion of the test, lower even than science - the class I despised. My mom (and dad) knew how much writing meant to me and they didn't want me to become discouraged by the score. They knew me so well! So, they kept the results a secret from me and were justly rewarded when I took the test again a few years later and received my highest score on the writing portion.

Thank God my mom kept the results from me. Who knows where I would be today if I had become disheartened with writing all the way back in grade school.


  1. what a wonderful story. there are so many bad parenting stories out there, seems like. what a gift that was to you, not just to keep your confidence in-tact but to have this story all these years later. nice. i think you've inspired me to write a good parenting story myself. thanks!

  2. Wow, your parents sound pretty amazing! :) My parents were the same way when it came to grades and tests. I was terrible at standardized tests, but they never ever made me feel bad about my scores. They always encouraged me, and knew that I was trying my best. Your post just taught many parents and parents-to-be an important lesson.