Friday, January 21, 2011

The Gas Station

"Mom took me to Boston when I was starting my residency. She was quite sick at that time, but she was bent on taking me to Boston to shepherd me through finding a place to live. It was our last trip together as mom and daughter, and we slept in the same room in this bed-and-breakfast. After we got in bed she said to me, 'I want you to know a few things.' And it was very clear that she wanted to give me advice before she died.

So when we were in bed, she said to me, 'When you have children, always remember that a parent should be like a gas station. The children can come to you and then go out into the world and do their things and then come back for more. But be careful that the gas station stays in one place. Don't run after your children. Just stay there in the gas station to give them support.' That's something that I've always governed myself by. Whenever I see myself running after one of the kids or trying to control what they're doing, I always try to stop myself and say, 'I'm just the gas station.'"

Leah Haseley, From "Mom: A Celebration of Mothers From StoryCorps" by Dave Isay