Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Mothers Say the Darnedest Things!
My friend Lorraine stopped by the office today and reminded me of something: Mother’s Day is right around the corner. In her hand was a folded piece of paper; a collection of “Famous Last Words” she’d read which caused her to smile, and she wanted to share them. It hasn’t been that long since my friend lost her own mother, and so I was touched that she included me—and therefore you—in her sentimental and humorous musings.
I’ve been a mother for twenty-seven years. The older I get, the more I realize that I am very similar to my own mother. The silly things she said to me are often repeated in my house… even though I recognize that those warnings and admonitions are usually foolish. We mothers can’t help ourselves. We are desperate to raise kind and well-grounded and productive members of society. We are determined to do our best to keep our children safe, and we yearn for their happiness. And so… when common sense doesn’t work, we resort to whatever we have in our arsenal which will.
Here are a few of the standard, oft-used and mostly ridiculous phrases employed by mothers like me. Mother’s like Lorraine, and Leona, and Jo. We simply can’t ourselves.
**If you don’t stop, your face will freeze like that.
**I only have two hands.
**Let me kiss it and make it better.
**Because I’m your mother; that’s why.
**Go ask your father.
**Wear clean underwear; you could get into an accident. (It always amazes me that this works!)
**Don’t put that in your mouth; you don’t know where it’s been.
**I don’t care who started it.
**If I didn’t love you so much, I wouldn’t care what you did.
**You’ll have kids of your own someday.
**Clean your plate; there are starving children.
**As long as you live in my house, we’ll do it my way.
**Wait till your father gets home!
**If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you want to do it , too?
**Don’t ever forget that I love you.
**You’ll always be my baby.
And my personal favorite, used by busy mothers everywhere who simply don’t have time for debate:
Because I said so!
Yes, I admit it: I have used every single one of these idioms in the last quarter century. Each one passed through Mum’s lips, as well. They are the time-honored quips of beleaguered but loving mothers, everywhere.
I’m thankful for my mother—for what would I have used to keep my three offspring in line if I hadn’t had her good words to carry with me? Mum worked hard to raise us right, and she didn’t have it easy, either. After all, she had to walk barefoot through snow uphill both ways to get to school when she was a child. And I’m pretty sure I did, too.
I love you, Mum. And to mothers everywhere, happy Mother’s Day.