Laura de Medici-Bentley: The legacy of loving parents
Not too long ago, my mom told me, ”You’re a better mother than I ever was.”
This struck a chord with me. Although my mom seldom gives herself enough credit, I couldn’t help but wonder if either of my parents have any idea of how amazing they truly are. The goal of many parents is for them to be able to give their children more than they had growing up … I only hope I can make Livia’s childhood just as amazing as they made mine.
I think of my mom and her never-ending talents – she sews, she builds, she designs, she engineers, she’s quadrilingual — and that’s just scraping the surface. I have always bragged to friends that my mom can do anything. From making all of my Halloween costumes, to making six bridesmaids’ dresses from scratch to building Livia’s nursery furniture, she never ceases to amaze me.
As if that weren’t enough, she is my best friend — someone I’ve always been able to confide in without fear of judgment, someone who knows me better than anyone else, and someone who has never given up on me — no matter what.
Whenever I think of the mother I want to be to my daughter, I look to my mom as an example.
Something I really appreciated as a teenager was being able to write my mom letters if I felt too embarrassed to have a face-to-face conversation about something. No matter what form of communication my daughter and I will use, I will be ready to listen, just like my mom.
Then, there’s papa, who could give the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man in the World” a run for his money. The rest of the world knows him as a foreign correspondent who has interviewed multiple American presidents and has visited well over 100 countries.
I, however, know him as the man who has always kept his promises to his daughters, no matter what.
Young children’s lives are often filled with ”maybe’s,” but I could always count on my father’s certainty.
“When papa makes a promise…” he’d start “…he keeps it!” my sister and I would finish, happily.
There are many wonderful things about my father, but what I respect and admire the most is that he is always a man of his word.
Livia is only 2, so she may not notice this now, but I uphold the same standard my papa did. When I promise something — even if it’s as small as a trip to the park after nap — I follow through with it.
Together, their biggest influence on me has been their commitment to family time. Life was never “too busy” for that. When we lived in Italy, my sister and I had school Monday through Saturday, so every Sunday, they would whip out their map and choose a new town to explore. We would travel there by train or by car and spend the day admiring basilicas and enjoying a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. No matter how small or unexciting a town was, my parents could always find something interesting or special about it.
At the time, I probably rolled my eyes about our weekly adventures, but looking back, this is my favorite childhood memory.
When she’s older, I look forward to having similar weekly adventures with Livia and my husband Lamar. I don’t know how likely it is that we’ll be exploring Italy, but we will make the best out of wherever we are.
No matter where life takes us, I will continue to pass on my parents’ wonderful legacy to my daughter.
Laura de Medici-Bentley, of Winchester Virginia, is a former early childhood educator who currently enjoys staying home with her [almost] 2-year-old daughter. She is an author of a personal blog, CiaoMommy.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org