Another reason why we were a good choice for quintuplets
First, my mom, Sylvia Wilkinson, sought to find humor in just about everything. This is something I definitely inherited and it has come in handy many times. Of course, it has also got me into trouble at times because I have been known to laugh at things that probably aren't supposed to be funny. However, for the most part, it has really helped.
Something else she taught me was thriftiness. Growing up, I took great pride in the fact that almost everything we owned came from a garage sale. She taught me from a very early age that you can save a ton of money if you either make it yourself or buy it from a garage sale and fix it up. Most of our furniture came from my mom's (and her siblings) weekly trips to the various garage sales around Denver. Before we were married, Rachelle actually was a little nervous that we wouldn't have anything new because I once made a comment that implied that I thought it would be ridiculous to ever buy a new couch. OK, it wasn't implied so much as directly stated. However, I have since decided that it is some times worth it to buy new things.
Over time, I have learned that the reason my mom got stuff at garage sales was often because the quality (at least the garage sale stuff we found in the 80's) was actually better than what you could typically buy at the store. For example, the furniture we found at garage sales was often made of real wood. Of course, it would some times take hours to scrape away the paint to find the real wood but it was usually down there. From this, I learned that just because something is expensive and looks good on the outside, doesn't mean it is worth anything on the inside. Being good on the inside it 100 times better than looking good on the outside.
On a side note, before Kaiya was born, we wanted to buy Riley a bed that had drawers underneath it. We looked around at a few stores and I kept looking on the inside of everything and found that they were all made of particle board or MDF (not real wood). Stuff made out of particle board is really heavy and breaks easily. I decided that I would be better off just making it myself and we ended up with a solid oak bed that cost the same as the particle board beds (unless you include the cost of the tools I had to buy to make the bed which I don't count).
Another thing that my mom taught me was an appreciation of classic movies (as well as "girl" movies). When I was about 21, she made me sit through the six episode A&E version of Pride and Prejudice. To be completely honest, I found that movie to be one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. Now, you may be wondering how that would prepare me for quintuplets. Well, most of the people that come and volunteer at our house are female. If I only knew about typical guy stuff, it would be rough. However, because I am conversant on things like the Twilight books as well as the Jane Austen movies, it helps me to not be so uncomfortable around so many women.
One final thing that my mom taught me is an appreciation of the absurd. Throughout my life, my mom has involved us with things that are basically absurd. When I was a sophomore in high school, she convinced my sister Alicia and I to dress in chicken costumes to go and perform a rap at a rival high school to help my cousin ask a girl to go to prom with him. This was fairly uncomfortable but I realize now that if you can do something like that, then there is a whole lot of other things you can do such as take intermediate clogging at BYU, do a break dance routine wearing a Star Trek uniform, or enjoy raising quintuplets. By the way, the background design for my mom's crazy Granny blog says a lot about her appreciation for the absurd.
Anyway, these are just some of the things that continue to help me as I deal with the situation we are in and I am grateful for them.
Labels: mothers day