I desperately want to join my fellow high school friends on a late-night event.
Without apology, my mom is clear in denying her permission.
"Why can't you just say 'yes,' " I asked.
Her reply: "That would be a lot easier. But my job is to protect you. I'm not your friend; I'm your mom."
Decades later, that line has stuck. As mama of a 10-year-old, I keep it in mind because while we're fabulously close and have countless joyous times, I am the parent. I'm here to teach and protect her, not be her bestie.
That's just one of the lessons passed down to me. I asked a few friends, "What is the best life skill, trait or lesson you received from your mother?"
Mike Van der Valk, owner Mike's Pastry, Antioch resident: "My mom was the image of strength. When my dad left the family, she went back to school and worked eight hours a day. She also loved to cook. So, if you had to talk to her, it was always in the kitchen. When times are a little hard, all I have to do is think of her and keep trying to do better."
Patti Fly, elementary schoolteacher, Oakley resident: "My mother is a very strong, faithful woman. I think she taught me to have faith, and has given me the ability to find strength in dealing with difficult times."
Karli Fly, substitute teacher, Oakley resident: "My mom (Patti) always taught me to be positive and kind to others. I remember when kids were mean to me in school, I would tell her about it.
Letha Arms, school librarian, Pittsburg resident: "When I was first married, I (told) mom that my husband always wanted to watch sports on Sundays. I grew up with a brother and dad who did the same, but this was different. She told me it could be worse, he could be going to bars and not want to be at home. Her advice: Sit down and watch with him. It worked. I love watching sports with my husband. Now, I pass that on to my daughters."
Robyn Azevedo, director of sales, Oakley resident: "The best trait passed on to me was generosity and willingness to help others. She taught me this by example -- always the first to help out someone in need. I believe it was this example that has led me to be charitable, making me fearless in my capacity to help. That allowed me to donate my kidney without a second thought. She was one of the people I knew would understand my drive to sacrifice for another person."
Louie Rocha, high school principal, Antioch resident: "My mom has been my mentor throughout my life, impressing me with her compassion for serving others. She has been a role model to many but, most importantly, to me. I learned the importance of respecting all people and valuing hard work from all levels of service. Her collaborative approach to problem solving that leads to consensus building with win-win outcomes is the approach I've taken throughout my career. She has been a guiding light for me through peaks and valleys. I hope I can live up to the ideals that she has modeled for me."
Contact Trine Gallegos at email@example.com.