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Everything I needed to know I learned in kindergarten from my mom – by Alison Rhodes, The Safety Mom

Mom and her grand daughters

Mom and her grand daughters

This past Wednesday on my radio show, Keeping It Together With Alison, The Safety Mom, I featured two inspirational moms.  Women who have made a difference in their community and in their own family’s life.  If you’d like to hear it, you can search for my show on I Tunes and download it.  Unfortunately, at the last minute I wasn’t able to host the show as I was in court for what seems like the thousandth time trying to get a divorce.  And, unfortunately, there was one inspirational mom who I refused to have on if I wasn’t doing the interview – my own mom.

I asked her to be on the show two months ago.  As is typical of her, she immediately made a self-deprecating joke and said having her on would ruin my show.  Yes, that’s the first trait we have in common, we’re both the last person to ever boast about ourselves.  Since I couldn’t have her on my show, I wanted to write about her.  First, because she deserves a tribute and second because the life lessons she’s taught me I think could inspire many people. 

Her name is Kathy Rumery and, perhaps because I was an only child, she spent a great deal of time with me.  And while she has continued teaching me so many life lessons, most of the really important stuff she taught me while I was still in kindergarten.  Here are some of them:

Always believe that things will turn out OK    As a mom myself, I’m sure that it was a toss-up who was more nervous that first day of school, me or her!  But she told me that it would be wonderful.  She is the most optimistic and positive person I know.  There are many times my faith has been tested to its limits.  From the death of my son to the agony over my eldest child’s disabilities and now to the pain of my divorce it has been a struggle.  Without her strength and her support I would never have made it this far.

Life isn’t always fair   Yes, she warned me that it wouldn’t always be easy.  Whether some kid got picked for the lead in the school play over me or I missed out on a job opportunity to someone I believed was less qualified, stuff happens.  But she has taught me to don’t hang on to anger of injustices, in the end it will only hurt me.

Try your best  She never got angry if I didn’t get all “A’s” in school, she just wanted to believe I tried my best.  There were never any unrealistic expectations and because of that I learned it’s better to do what you love in life, not what’s going to lead to the greatest financial rewards. 

Always be a friend If there was a new kid starting school she would suggest that I invite them over.  She taught me to look at people for who they are, not the color of their skin, their size or their religion.  This has remained with me and is something that has become all-important as I watch my son face bullies over his disabilities.  How much better this world could be if we taught our children more tolerance.

Family lasts forever   I remember one day in kindergarten when I had some silly fight with my best friend and she told me she wasn’t my friend anymore.  I was devastated!  But I came home and my mom dried my tears, got me some cookies and told me that it would all be better and that she was always there for me.  She has been ever since and I try to remind my kids of that every day.

I know I am blessed to have such an incredible mother and am so thankful that she is my best friend.  While she is the youngest of her siblings everyone turns to her for advice and support.  I pray that she knows I am there for her everyday.  I would never be the woman I am today without her and I just hope I can be half the mom she is.  I love you mom.  Happy Mother’s Day.


  1. Caryl Deiches

    Such a great story and inspirational Mom — very wise tips!

  2. I agree, you picked up some life-long lessons from your mom. You learned to not hate but tolerate at a young age. Your mom was a very wise person!

    Sandy Avila
    Director of Operations
    Prepped & Polished


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