Monday, April 6, 2009

"Mom, They Called Me Bossy..."

My daughter came home from school, and said that she'd been called bossy. [I must confess: I've had the same thought a time or two about her, but it stayed just that. A thought.]

So, I told her this story:

"Mom, they called me bossy!" I cried as I ran into my mom's arms with tears running down my face. My mom comforted me and dried my tears. Then she looked me in the eye and said, "Don't ever let anyone call you bossy. If anyone does call you bossy, then you tell them that you are not bossy. That you just come from a long line of managing women!"

[A long line of managing women?]

She went on to explain that my Gran's Gran, Annie O'Brien, came from Ireland by herself at the tender age of 17 to New Orleans, Louisiana. Also, her daughter, my Gran's mom, "Boo", and my Gran raised Gran's 8 children [my mom's #7]. My Gran had multiple jobs while "Boo" took care of things on the home front. Lastly, [and I think this is kinda cool] my Gran's sister, Aunt Anne, drove an ambulance in France during World War II.

She ended this quick family history of my "managing" maternal line with, "Don't forget: you come from a long line of managing women."

I now wonder, "How many times this story has been told in my mom's family, and who it started with?" I didn't realize that day how that "talk" would profoundly affect my outlook on life and myself.

And what great genealogical clues she'd given me.

And what I'd find out about my family.

And what great stories they'd make.

And that I'd be sharing them with you.

So, then I looked my daughter in the eye and I told her, "Don't let anyone call you bossy. If someone does call you bossy, you just tell them that you're not bossy. That you just come from a long line of managing women." 

[But, I also added that she was not allowed to "manage" me. Ever.]
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  1. great post!!! My Mom was also a "managing woman" and her big line was "that's how it is, and you'll just have to manage!"

  2. That's cute. I wish you'd posted this about a week ago! Someone called me, "bossy" (and not in a nice way, either). I would have loved to have used this line against him, especially because, in my case, it's TRUE!

    From one "managing woman" to another,

  3. Thanks! You just send 'em to me, Renate. I'll take care of 'em. *wink*


  4. Great post, thanks so much sharing - sounds like something my great grandmother would have said.

  5. Guess that explains my bossy granddaughters as well.

  6. I suppose I'm a managing woman, but I've always described myself as a control freak. I too come from a long line, and my daughter appears to be carrying it on.

  7. Thanks for sharing. I knew there was a reason I'm always in "managing mode." My mother used to tell me a French story that was similar(Lord knows I'm bossy). These ancestral anstories help us accept our character and yet be aware of our idiosyncrasies.

  8. We just call ourselves "strong" women. My grandmother would say "It'll get better before you get married." I find myself telling my daughters when they were young, the same. And it does. Thank you for sharing.


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