Everything I Need to Know I Didn't Learn in Kindergarten

Years ago, Robert Fulghum wrote a book of short essays titled, All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten. The first essay, bearing the title of the book, is a list of things that Fulghum learned in his first organized school setting. Things like the importance of sharing, playing fair, putting things back where you found them, saying you are sorry, and the need to take a nap every afternoon.

While I respect Fulghum’s position on the need for society to embrace such values, I cannot honestly say that I learned everything I needed to know while in kindergarten.

Perhaps because I didn’t go to kindergarten.

Looking back, I am not sure it was because I was so advanced that I went directly to first grade. It is just as likely that the people in charge wouldn’t let me in. That’s still up for debate depending

on who you ask?

One thing I am sure of . . . Everything I need to know I learned from my Mom.

Mom did all of the teaching and I just went along for the ride. I was home schooled 20 years before home schooling was even invented. Now days, my Dad is the one doing the riding.

My Mom was a bit different than Fulghum’s kindergarten teacher. As I recall, we skipped the lesson on playing fair. Mom taught

me that, life is not always fair, and people don’t always share.

She told me that there was one rule to live by and it was golden. “Treat others the way you want them to treat you,” she would say, regardless of whether they do the right thing or not.

Mom also said, “You can do & be anything you set your mind to. You are a winner. Work hard. Encourage others, honor your father, set an example for your little brother and sister, and tell the truth.”

I never recall her making me take a nap either. We were too busy visiting fabric stores and working in flower beds or vegetable gardens to have time for naps.

Looking back, I really have no regrets about missing out on kindergarten. Mom taught me to read, write, and do math a year before my first grade teacher, Mrs. Elrod ever got a hold of me.

So on this Mother’s Day weekend, I am so grateful to my first teacher. The woman who let me play hooky for a whole year, and yet still somehow taught me that, “There are two kinds of people in the world . . . Leaders & followers. You need to be a leader. The world needs good leaders.”

While I still fall short of mom’s work ethic, character, love, and resolve, it certainly is not because I lacked an example. She was, and still is, everything I could hope to be.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!





What is the best thing your mom ever taught you?

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Mark Miller

11 years ago

Thanks Randy! It sounds like your mom and mine are kindred spirits. On behalf of all the folks you've impacted in your life so far, please tell you mom we said, "Thank you!" Mark Miller


11 years ago

She is pretty amazing! Thanks Mark for commenting.

Coach Mac

11 years ago

great stuff!


11 years ago

Thanks Coach!


11 years ago

What a blessing we were given when God chose us to be Patsy Gravitt's kiddos! 
Mom taught me that my relationship with Christ was more important than all the others.  She taught me how to look for and find a bargain (and to always shop the clearance racks first)!  She taught me how to care for others (she was the perfect model of this by caring for her own family, parents, in-laws, etc., during times of need).  She taught me how to be a good sister, wife, and friend.  She taught me tolerance, patience, how to cook, clean, transplant flowers, decorate, etc.  She taught me how to play fairly, how to shoot a hook shot (at least she tried), and that winning is important, but not always the most important!
She taught me that "pretty is as pretty does", the importance of wearing sunscreen, and that it's okay to try new things - even when you aren't sure you're going to be successful.
Mom also taught me a lot of lessons that I'm now teaching my own girls....that material things aren't the most important, folks will disappoint you, trust is difficult, and a few true friends are among your greatest blessings.  She also taught me the importance of family get-togethers, even when it's not convenient, working your tail off in the kitchen so everyone else can relax and enjoy true fellowship....and that it's not so much as what's on the table, rather who's around the
When I consider mom's wisdom and the blessing that she has been to so many, I cannot help but think of Proverbs 31 and the description of a Godly woman/mother.  Our mom fits the description.  She's a woman of faith, who loves God and seeks His will.  She respects her husband and has remained faithful for more than 50 years.  She's taught her children to walk in the truth and has disciplined them with care, training them in the way they should go.  She serves others with a gentle and loving spirit.  She's wise with money and spends/saves cautiously. She works hard and sings praises to God, without grumbling. She has created an amazing home that is beautifully decorated and she uses her gift of hospitality to minister to those around her.  he is a woman of true beauty that only comes from a relationship with her maker.  
Wow...we are so blessed!  If I'm half the mother that our mom is, I'll be a good one!


11 years ago

You should be writing this blog and not me Sis! 


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