Friday, August 01, 2008

A Chosen Profession

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about family relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which children and parents might derive hope, guidance and a smile after reading them.

I am conducting recorded telephone interviews to gather the information necessary to portray your story. Interviews last 30-45 minutes; just send me an email (See “Links” below for my address) requesting an interview appointment.

For those who prefer to write their story rather than participate in an interview, you must submit it via my website. Please visit www.gregoryelang.com and click the red corner on the home page just beneath the “Projects” tab.

Stories are not published as submitted or told but rather are used as anecdotes told by me, the narrator, to help illustrate a message about teaching or cherished moments between mothers and daughters.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

Stories about the fun moms and daughters have together, how moms teach daughters what it means to be a woman (putting on makeup, first period, first bra, first boyfriend), help with the challenges of a wedding and marriage, daughters helping mom in a technological world, etc., are all welcome.

NOTE: The deadline to offer a mother-daughter story expires today, August 1st. Please continue to visit this blog for updates on the book as it begins the last leg of its journey toward publication (Spring, 2009).

Now on to today’s post~

“And what do you do?” a woman asked Trudy. Trudy gave a sly grin before she answered.

When she was a young girl her mother had always said, “Trudy, you can be anything you want to be. You could be a nurse, or even a doctor. You could go to dental school or law school.”

These words of encouragement were often stated while little Trudy sat on the kitchen counter watching her mom stir the sweet, thickening jam being made from the fresh strawberries they had picked the day before, or while mother and daughter stood side by side at the kitchen sink rinsing still-warm-from-the-sun tomatoes, squash, and peppers taken from their garden. Sometimes while cooking a delicious dinner without once referring to a cookbook, mom talked out loud as she imagined what it would be like if her daughter became an engineer or an astronaut.

As mom drove the VW camper bus to a park for a picnic, a county fair or the lake or public library, she encouraged Trudy to get as much education as possible and prepare herself well for a career. “You could do so much. You are so smart!” she would declare.

Mom took care of her children when they were sick and always seemed to know the perfect remedy for any ailment. She sang old folk songs to lull her babies to sleep, and when she folded laundry she answered everyone’s questions about life, love, and death.

Each night Trudy fell asleep listening to the clinking of dishes being washed and put away, and awoke the next morning to the smells of breakfast. “You can be anything you want to be; don’t settle for less,” her mother said while helping her make her bed before leaving for school. “You can be anything you want to be.”

All through her high school and college years, as she chose her courses of study, Trudy was pretty certain of what she wanted to be. She was going to become a handy-woman, a comforter, a coach, an explorer, a gardener, a chef, a nurturer, a dancer, a singer, a disciplinarian, and a teacher. When the time was right, she was going to be a stay-at-home Mom.

While raising her daughters and leading an active role in their lives, Trudy sometimes encountered less than tepid approval when answering the question, “What do you do?” In those moments her thoughts returned to her mom and memories of their time spent together, and regrets about her career choice never entered her mind. She, like her mom, loves her chosen profession.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

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