What would she say, if asked, that I , as her mother, had taught her? What "pearls of wisdom" had I imparted to her on her journey from child to adult? Without hesitation, she said two things sprang to mind and she taught both of them all the time, to her high school students.
The first, she said, was to always apologize to anyone with whom you had a falling out or a misunderstanding. Even if you feel the other person is in the wrong or that you do not believe you have done or said anything wrong, but there is tension between you, don't let it stand, but be the first to apologize. Not necessarily to say "I'm sorry I was wrong " but do at least say "I'm sorry I've upset you." Or something similar.
Well yes, this has always been my philosophy and I've practised it faithfully, as necessary. I think that all would agree that this is a positive lesson to have passed along. So I was pleased with that one.
The second thing, she said, was that every time you get an opportunity to give input or feedback you should do so. Always fill in the comment section on any form when asked. Take every occasion offered to make your opinion heard. This one took me back me a little, but it is something I always do. It just surprised me that she would have been so impressed by this.
Then I asked her if there was any lesson her father had passed along to her. Of course there was and it really made me laugh. Her father, a university professor, always told her that a student should take every moment of the time allotted for an exam and it would be foolish to leave early.
When I got off the phone, I went to tell my husband what she had said about his "pearl of wisdom" and he started to lecture me about it. "It's true," he said earnestly, even after having retired 8 years ago. I'm afraid he didn't see the humour in it, but I sure did. Especially when I started to get the lecture as well.
So there you have it folks, in a nutshell, the sum total of the wisdom imparted by the parental unit of this family, to the daughter at least. I'll have to ask my son what his answer would be.