Saturday, May 18, 2013

Are you an Umphrey?

I have to admit, one of my favorite things about my life is how often people--often individuals who are strangers to me--ask, "Are you an Umphrey?" or "You look like an Umphrey?", and then, when I answer in the affirmative, respond that one of my parents was their favorite teacher. (And that statement is frequently followed by some fun stories).

My parents are great parents and great people, its nice to know that other people recognize that.  They chose professions (teachers in rural Montana) that don't seem terribly significant in the world in some ways, but it never fails to amaze me just how many individuals and families they've affected over the years.  And I know what an incredible blessing some of my teachers were to me growing up, how much I learned and gained from some of the teachers who gave me their all, and its nice to know that there are people out there who think of my parents that way.

The wonderful, unintended consequence for me is that, on a fairly regular basis, I meet people who recognize in my face some features of a person that they respect, and so automatically react to me with openness and affection.  What a marvelous gift to give your children, just by being a good person and doing your job well.  Until I was several years into adulthood, I never considered how valuable it could be to leave your children a good name and reputation.  It took me several more years to realize that I'd never thought about it because I'd never had to--because my parents had given me that.

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