Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Being Known for Something

Being known for something unique is something I think about often, at least since my son Reid said that one of his friend's mother's made a particular dinner dish that was really good, and
" she was known for it."

I replied that I could be known for the delicious coffee cake I had just baked or some of my other regular specialties like banana bread or shepard's pie. Now, don't let your mind get carried away. Anyone of you who knows me well, also knows that on most nights my husband eats cold cereal for dinner- a sore point with my mom and a secret we wouldn't dare share with my mother-in-law. So being known for cooking anything decent would be a great accomplishment for me and a real compliment, but it ain't happening.

But Reid's comment got me thinking. What else would I like to be known for... Kind of like family traditions( a blog topic for another day), children like familiarity and repetition, they like to know the people and things around them, it gives them stability, and a sense that everything is safe. Children don't do as well with change and upheaval. So it only follows that they like to label people and refer to them as being "known for something."

I remember, even as a young girl, I always admiring people that were "known for something." Like my high school friend's mom used to work with braille books for the blind and always had Charles Chips and Charles Pretzels delivered to her home. I knew her for that.

Also, my college roommate told me how her grandfather brought her grandmother flowers every Friday after work from the day they got married until he passed away. He was definitely known for that, in fact, I think he deserves a monument in his honor.

To me these people were consistent, predictable, they did something regularly because it was what they liked to do, and little did they know, that it would be that little something that defined them.

In our family, my mother-in-law is known for her chicken soup, and my mom for shopping and giving the kids candy.

But what am I known for? What defines me? I don't think we can know what defines us while we are going through the motions of life. I think it is when other's reflect on who we are, or when our children grow up and say, " my mother always..." , that we are defined.

I hope I am doing something consistently enough, and well enough so that it will define me, and I hope that whatever that something is, it is a really nice thing. I want to be known for doing something good and I hope it brings a smile to the face of my children, family, or friends when they think of me doing whatever it is that they think of me doing.

What are you "known for?'


  1. I'll tell you what you are known for at my house--being an extraordinary human being and one of the kindest friends we have ever known. Your transparency and thoughtfulness taught me so much during the two years we shared.

  2. You have literally brought tears to my eyes.