1. You had to be tough. You might have thought the spill you took on rollerblades was The Worst Thing Ever, but your mom would never indulge you in this. She’d seen far worse and she forced you to keep your injury in perspective.
2. You’ve never been squeamish about blood. Your mom handled every cut and fall with such grace that it never occurred to you that it was something to freak out over.
3. You learned that toughness is a vital part of femininity.
4. Even if you don’t already have kids of your own, you know exactly how you’re going to get them to obey the rules: your mom’s hospital horror stories. Don’t run down the stairs: your mom knows a kid who did that and his leg bent the other way. Don’t go outside without your gloves: frostbite makes your fingers turn black and fall off.
5. For a long time you thought advanced medical knowledge was just part of “mom knowledge.” It wasn’t until you saw a friend call her health insurance’s nurse line that you realized not everyone has this resource at their disposal.
6. You had some, um, interesting toys like (unused) bed pans, needle-less syringes, and hand-me-down stethoscopes to perform surgeries on your stuffed animals with.
7. You prescribe “fluids” and “R.I.C.E.” to your friends when they’re sick or injured.
8. You got your flu shots on the kitchen counter.
9. And then administered “flu shots” to your patient, the family dog. (See #6).
10. There was some point in your life that you’ll never forget where you were at the mall (or wherever) with your mom and someone needed medical help and she was there shouting out things to do while everyone else was panicking.
11. You learned from her at a young age how to handle pressure. Even when people were rude or aggressive she always seemed to know how to shut them down firmly — but without coming across as mean-spirited. She was the boss, simple as that.
12. You never thought twice about women being tough or having a career. Your mom stood her ground with pretentious doctors, drunk emergency room patients and crabby sick people all the time. You heard all these stories and thought she was a kind of superwoman who could handle anything without crumbling.
13. You still call her whenever you have a medical question. In fact, so does your best friend, boyfriend, and roommate.