Pen and Paper

Growing up, mom and dad always said “make sure that you always carry with you a piece of paper and a pen”. The idea of course was that when a great idea popped into my head I would be prepared to write it down. You know, I probably thought, sure mom, sure dad, don’t worry because I will always be prepared.

I wasn’t always prepared and although it sounded like a good idea, I was a kid busy going to school, doing homework, enjoying sports and playing with my friends. If it wasn’t a school day I doubt that I was carrying “the tools”. Did I really have any ideas creative or fantastic enough to warrant pen to paper?

I suppose what was more important than the actual suggestion that I note my thoughts, was the idea that my parents wanted me to value my own perception of things; to take note of my insights perhaps.

As a child I did not have the picture perfect family. There were lots of us, eight, and there was not a lot of money. This is not a sad thing to me, it is just how it was. What I did have in abundance was love. My mom never withheld love. I think she told me everyday that she loved me. She was an incredibly open person who endured a lot of hardship and lived life chin up.

So about that pen and paper, I think looking back I see that someone telling me that my thoughts and words are important, important enough to always be written down gave me a sense of self esteem. I was embarrassed that my family was poor but I still knew I had worth.

Irony perhaps, is that the most valuable possession I have is an envelope with a note to me from my mother. Her paper was always the back of an envelope.