How to Ask for a Favor: Six Lessons From My Mother

Today is my mother's birthday. Here a six drawings that illustrate her intelligence and kindness.

1. Keep In Touch

There's a "birthday book" in my Mom's desk and chances are, if you know her, your name is in there. She might not even need to refer to the book before she addresses your birthday card - she has a knack for dates. That's no surprise because she's a genealogist, a member of the Mayflower Society and the DAR. Need to know what a second cousin once removed is? She can tell you!

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2. Bake Often

I've inherited a sweet tooth from my Mom. Candy won't do - I need the sugar and fat combo found only in baked goods and ice cream. Mom eats a lot of dessert but she probably gives just as much of it away. Raisin squares and blondies are two of her specialties. 

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 3. How to Ask for Something

No explanation needed.

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4. Recharge Your Batteries

Studies have shown power naps can increase alertness, memory, and creativity. My Mom has known this for decades.

5. Keep Learning

Mom uses her computer for email and social media. Though she needs occasional coaching she's very adept for an octogenarian. She also loves to read; she favors non-fiction. Right now she's on volume three of Will Durant's eleven-volume Story of Civilization.

3. Make Beautiful Things

My mom is a skilled knitter. She makes hats, sweaters, and afghans. She once knit 12 sweaters for a teddy bear (each month had a different theme.) She often makes "Cinderella" sweaters meaning they're meant for whomever they fit (who likes them.) Her specialty is single-color items with cables and interesting stitches. I have known her to take apart almost an entire afghan because she found a mistake. "Mom, no one will notice," I say. She replies, "I know it's there."