A Simple Question

“I’m working on writing a speech and this book I’m reading recommends asking the people close to you a question. Can you tell me what I’ve taught you?”

It was a risky question, especially to ask to my daughters. But it resulted in such an interesting conversation with my husband Robert that I decided to go for it. I sought out a quiet moment alone with each of them.


I was hoping they would at least participate, maybe even come up with something like – always try to make it to the toilet if you think you’re going to barf or how to separate a yolk from an egg white. But their answers blew me away and made me a little weepy.

(Before you think I’m just tooting my own horn, I want to present Exhibit A and Exhibit B as reminders of my public parental failures. And if you read my upcoming memoir Float On, you’ll have more opportunities to discover my past failings.)

The daughter who I thought wouldn’t play along at all thought about it for a bit and said, “To treat others how I want to be treated.” The other daughter was more expansive, “Literally everything…manners, how to socialize…” Then she stopped and said, “Last year we had the word altruistic as a vocabulary word and I remembered it by thinking of you. That’s how you are.”

I felt like getting my timecard and clocking off – my work here is done! It’s not, of course, but I will cling to these thoughts because parenting teenagers is hard. I know that I will need to remind myself that something is sticking when I encounter the attitude, the evasiveness, the other things that I won’t even mention.

This question also causes me to think about what others have taught me and what a beautiful thing it can be to share with someone. So I want to tell you readers that you have taught me that being deliberate to share my words with you brings me connection and joy. Thank you.

Love, Molly




  1. You taught me to not be shy when going into the Dutch Goose, 5 minutes before closing, and assertively asking for a bag of peanuts . . . to go. Honestly, I think about that a lot, whenever I may be too scared or too timid to ask for something, afraid that I may inconvenience someone. “Seesa, just go up there and tell them . . . Be strong, girl!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s