Aging Family

My Mom, My Coach

My Mom, Patsy Dunlop, with Lady Liberty
My Mom, Patsy Dunlop, with Lady Liberty

Last year, in honor of Mother’s Day, I wrote a blog post about my mom. She loved it. In fact, she loved it so much that she recently asked me if I was going to write another one this year. Needless to say, there was only one correct answer and you are now reading it!

If anyone ever deserved a blog post tribute, it’s my mom. She raised 5 children (four girls and me) and we all survived our childhoods. My mom put a lot of attention into how she raised us. The easiest example I can give relates to dating, just one of the many subjects where she would relentlessly coach me. Here was her advice around dating (and I heard it weekly as a teenager):

  • “Dan, when you drive up to the young lady’s house, park the car, and walk up to the front door. (In other words, don’t just sit in the car and honk!)”
  • “When the young lady’s father or mother comes to the door, be sure to introduce yourself, shake his or her hand firmly, and look them right in eye.” If the parents didn’t come to the door, I was supposed to ask if I could meet them!
  • ‘Then walk your date to the car and open the car door for her.”
  • “When you get to the restaurant (or movie…) and park the car, run around to your date’s side of the car to let her out.”
  • “When you walk on the sidewalk with your date, make sure you are on the side closest to traffic.” Obviously I was supposed to throw my body in front of any vehicle that veered in our direction in order to protect my date.
  • “If you run into any of your friends, be sure to introduce your date to them and include her in the conversation.” If we were going to a party, I was instructed to pay attention to my date and never neglect or ignore her.
  • “When you take your date home, you should help her out of the car, walk her to the door, and thank her for a nice time. If her parents come to the door, greet them once again, and address them firmly. Don’t mumble. Speak up.”
  • “Say goodnight to everyone and return to your car. Then drive away slowly (don’t peel out).”

My mother was determined that I was going to be courteous and respectful to women. It makes sense that with four daughters my mother was naturally more sensitive to how I treated women. It was a constant theme with her. My mother is a feminist and a hard core Democrat. Being the only boy in the family didn’t give me any special stature. In fact, once I hit middle school and my older sisters had graduated from high school and moved away, my mother would leave a cookbook out on the kitchen counter each day and it was my job to prepare dinner when I got home from school. I became well acquainted with the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook and The Joy of Cooking. Somehow my younger sister, the baby of the family, managed to avoid this responsibility – actually, she avoided all responsibility. I developed a repertoire of dishes that I could prepare competently and I tried to give each one my own special flare. (I started putting garlic in mashed potatoes back in 1975, well before I ever saw that done elsewhere. Honestly, I thought that I had developed an amazing innovation!) Mom is the reason I learned to cook and still love to cook today. She also taught me how to sew and iron, two things I try to avoid today!

My mom and dad are now in their 80s, living in Pensacola, Florida. Below are a few photos of my mom ranging from her childhood days, to adulthood, to her current grande dame status. Enjoy the photos. My mom has always been a beautiful woman, as you’ll see.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom. I hope you like the post! Thanks for being my mom.

My mother as a child with her two brothers
My mom from her high school days
My mom and dad when they were first married
My Mom and Dad; first Christmas as a married couple

My Mom and Dad with my amazing wife, Scotti

To read last year’s post, “How My Mother Prepared Me for a Career in Healthcare Marketing,” click here.

1 comment on “My Mom, My Coach

  1. Pingback: No More USSA. Bring back the USA. That is the best way to honor our troops and veterans « HELLO IRAQ

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