Over time, who we admire and why usually shifts as our life experiences grow. Over time, as we meet new people we’re given the opportunity to cultivate rich new relationships. These new friendships can be the sweet nectar of life, helping us discover new things about ourselves and others, adding new dimensions to our days.
At the bedrock, though, are our parents or grandparents or whoever helped raise us as children. In Kelly Corrigan’s book “Glitter and Glue” she quotes her mother as saying “Your father’s the glitter, but I’m the glue”. Here’s more from her wonderful book:
“She (my mother) often said that I was a different person for my father, that I’d do anything for him, without an ounce of backtalk, as upbeat as a Miss America contestant, and that by the time he got home at night all the fighting was over, so he never knew what it took to get me to turn off the TV or take out the trash. She also said, Lemme tell you something, Kellly, you changed me a lot more than I changed you. I didn’t know adults could be changed. I thought they were finished pieces, baked though and kiln-dried. I never understood that when we fought my mother was having actual emotional reactions. I assumed her behavior was a front — a calculated show — designed to yield the best and safest possible kid.
…..sturdy though my mother was, she must have been gutted by the sound and sight and sheer vibration of her rabid daughter roaring, I HATE YOU I HATE YOUR GUTS I HATE YOU FOREVER! I had thought a good mother would not elicit such comments, but now I see that a good mother is required to somehow absorb all this ugliness and find a way to fall back in love with her child the next day. “
I thought about Kelly’s book last week after attending a remarkable presentation by her friend Meg Garlinghouse who came home to Topeka to discuss her program directing social impact for @LinkedIn. Meg’s presentation was full of great content (more about that in a future post), but what I took away from the event was the profound impact of her mother, Susan Garlinghouse. Not to take away from Kent, but I see Susan as strong measures of glitter AND glue, in the best possible ways.