Growing up, I always watched my Mom growing things, canning things, knitting and crocheting things, and cooking. I would always be around her when she was doing all these things, but was never really “taught” how to do any of them.
I don’t think that Mom was much of a teacher, in her mind anyways. She would “show” us how to plant and weed the garden, because that was one of our chores, but the real learning came over a period of many years as we grew older and realized how much she really did teach us because we can do it ourselves now.
I remember one time I asked her to teach a knitting class for my Girl Scout troop. She didn’t seem too hip on the idea. In fact, she appeared quite uncomfortable with the idea. But being the great person she was, she relented and taught a few of us little kids how to knit slippers. I’m pretty sure that it was the most uncomfortable experience of her life.
I guess I’m a lot like my Mom in this mentality. I’m not much of a teacher, I’m more of a Do-er. I learn things by watching and listening, almost as if I’m eavesdropping on a private conversation and coming away with secret intel that may be useful in the future.
As my girls were growing up, they never asked me to teach them how to garden, cook or crochet. If they had, I would have certainly tried my best to teach them, but just like me, they learned by watching. They developed their own skills and expertise on things that they wanted to learn (and certainly have more of a culinary finesse than I could ever hope to have).
Why the heck am I even writing about this? Because several times this summer I’ve had people tell me I’m an “expert” at gardening and canning, and I shudder each time that happens. I am perhaps the most unconventional person at both of these things. I know how to do them, but the way that I’ve learned is by watching and doing.
I’m always going to second-guess myself when I can something and I always make a mistake or two when I crochet an afghan, but when I do I acknowledge it and move on. If no one knows the mistake is there… works for me! (Secret tidbit: My Mom would take apart a whole afghan if she noticed a mistake rows earlier. I may be anal, but I think she had me beat!)
So when I write a post on how I can tomatoes or bake a loaf of bread, just remember that I’m just bringing you into my world of what I “do”, you’ll have to get the teaching from somewhere else.