One step at a time: Tying the knot



Michael Reiner Columnist

My mom’s habit of practice and routine shaped me into who I am today.

She has always been very disciplined and made sure that my brother Mitchell and I always did what was required before we had free time.

Occupational tasks like tying my shoes were no different. Putting on shoes was a struggle when I used to wear braces. Bending over to tie my shoes was even more difficult due to my lack of finger dexterity.

But all that changed when my mom came home from Walmart one day when I was 9 years old. She surprised me with a WWE Wrestlemania 22 DVD set. She said that I had to learn how to tie my shoes to be able to watch the show.

I wasn’t able to tie a physical shoe yet, so my mom found a flat piece of plastic with two different colored shoe strings attached to it. I would work at it day and night. My mom wouldn’t budge. I had to tie it to be able to watch one DVD of the three disc set.

After about two weeks of effort, I finally looped the black lace around the white lace and pulled through. I watched the first half of the show that night with Mitchell and my accomplishment left me wanting more. The next day, I tied it again, and again, and then I looped a double knot. Wrestlemania 22 was all mine!

Some people might question my mom’s parenting because she gave me a third of the DVD set each time I accomplished my goal. I agree with the way she went about it because it helped me understand priorities and how to work through time-consuming activities. If she would’ve given me my reward after the first knot was tied, it wouldn’t have felt as satisfying.

Now I’m 22 years old and my work ethic is still the same. I’m probably doing some sort of work while you’re reading this column.

I take after my mom in every way, she works just as hard as I do. She often tells me to take a break because she believes that I have too much on my plate. I am a stubborn worker, but I have learned to take a little time to have fun and relax this semester.

I will always appreciate my mom for what she has taught me. I will continue to work on all of my homework and other activities until my tasks are complete.

After I’m done, I’ll jump in bed and watch wrestling like I always have.

Contact Michael Reiner at [email protected].