It is hard not to think of how much I have learned from several significant women in my life. My Mother Number 1, Elsa-Maja who ran my life with an iron fist and had a bit of the "spare the rod, spoil the child" philosophy. Never let your child become "big-headed" by telling her, she looked cute, pretty or nice. And ALWAYS expect more! Work hard, earn your keep, bring your straw to the stack etc. etc. Advice that have served me well. However, having been told I too looked nice when I went out all dressed up on a Saturday evening would have contributed something to my self confidence, but oh no, in those days that would not have been acceptable!
My Mother Number 2 is my Auntie Helmi! Growing up much of my time was spent at her and my Uncle Gunnar's house, as well as at my Mormor and Morfar's. The two families lived in the same apartment house so I could easily move between the two. It was more fun to be at Helmis however, since there was so much going on there, she was always baking and sewing, had lot's of visitors but best of all my cousin Jan-Otto was the big draw. We played together a lot, got into endless trouble, created mischief galore, I was allowed to get dirty without being scolded. It was for me such a happy place to be.
Mother Number 3 was Berit, my best friend Mother! She thought I was as "special" as my Mother Elsa-Maja felt that my best friend was. Berit supported me in a way my own Mother could not. So, ultimately I managed to received ALL the elements of a well rounded adolescence, just not from one single person. I owe them all a debt of gratitude as I figured out how to be and how not to be.
My two year older sister was always a bit of a Mother as well. She, like the oldest child in a household so often do, took on the burden of "teacher", "disciplinarian", "boss" wether I approved of that behaviour or not. But for sure she was and still also acts as my protector. Her home has over the years always been a most welcoming and comfortable place, a place of refuge,a home filled with with loads of laughter!
It is difficult to not reflect on how differently I brought up my own three most remarkable and amazing children, for whom I have so much respect! It is difficult to not reflect on the difference in their child rearing. Being a Mother is a BIG job!
There are other women who have loomed large in my life, guiding, supporting, listening and sharing skills and advice. A special teacher, a special neighbour, a special customer even and always my most special and cherished friend! Thank you for sharing wisdom, thanks to some of you for sharing your Mothers. Those were BIG gifts! I am a lucky person to have and to have had each and every one of you and them, as a part of my life experience.