royul_thyme: (I <3 YOU OKAY? SO.)
[personal profile] royul_thyme
My mom just complimented me. /)_(\

so, the utensil drawer in the kitchen broke, right? the left runner broke completely off the back of the cupboard. for SOME reason, some bloke thought it would be real smart to have metal runners . . . with a plastic backing screwed to the wood to keep it in place. PLASTIC. suffice to say, the plastic finally shattered.

with one runner broken and the right wheel off the other track, the drawer was shoved diagonally down into the cupboard below it. my brother and I figured out the problem, and when our mom got home, I told her the problem real calm-like. we all pulled the drawer out and set it on the counter. we could put all the silverware in another place until my dad buys another runner, no problem.

the problem was the cat.

our lovely cat Gunner would probably leap into the hole in the cupboard just because. he's a jerk like that.

so I put my hand to my chin, opened a drawer, and pulled out a roll of baker's paper. "We can cover it up with this," I said as I held out the roll. "I was going to say aluminum foil but that's expensive, and I doubt cellophane would work."

she said, "Okay, that should work. Just set it down there, I can do it later."

with nothing else for me to do, I returned upstairs. five or ten minutes later, my mom called up the balcony/stairs:

"Hey, [my name here]! That was a pretty good idea, with the paper."

Surprised, I said, "Thank you!"

"You know, you're pretty good at that. Problem solving."

At this, I left my room and leaned on the railing, looking down at my mom. I'm pretty sure a surprised, hopeful "Really???" was written all over my face. I thought to myself, Yeah, I'm an engineer, that's me. Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III.

she continued, "You're pretty good at coming up with solutions, like, creatively. Oh, what's that word . . ."

"Ingenuity?" I asked.

"Yeah, ingenuity," my youngest brother said from his room beside me.

I smiled shyly, not really sure how to take this weird complimenting side of my mother. "Uh, thanks."

"Like how you thought of aluminum foil, but then thought it was too expensive, so you went for the paper. Good job."

"Yeah . . ." A warmth spread in my chest. My mother was actually praising me!

Now, don't get me wrong, my mom's really supportive. She's always been the comforting one, while my dad was the tough, temperamental, joking parent.

But it's pretty rare that my mom ever compliments me on anything beside my art. I don't really have anything to show for my talents. These days, everything she's said to me has been a criticism.

But there was my mother, praising me for my ingenuity. No one has ever told me I'm a good problem solver. I've always thought I was terrible at it. Critical thinking, problem solving, learning on my feet, improvisation--I've always thought those were my weak points. They were what I failed at in the workplace and at school, or so said my teachers, friends, bosses, and fellow employees.

I felt a warmth boiling in my gut. I was finally getting recognition from one of my parents. And it felt good. I'm 22, and I still get giddy at being praised by my parents.

I'll probably always seek their recognition and acceptance. Hiccup's story will likely always be my story.

Hopefully I have the same happy ending as Hiccup did.
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July 2014

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