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.


  1. You sure you shouldn't have TITLED this one, "It pays to proof read"?

    As for those sayings, yes, I think I heard them all from my own Mother at one time or another.

    But in my defense, if you had had to eat some of her meals, you would have thought the starving kids were getting off easy!

    And all that stuff I put in my mouth over the years, well, I did know where it came from. {Most of it came off the nice clean ground!}

    And as someone who has seen a few accidents, and been involved in a few close calls, I can tell you, the only way clean underwear can help, is if you keep it folded up in a ziplock bag in your coat pocket, so you have something to change into later!

    But, I guess our Mother's have to say those things; After all, they love us, and we'd get tired of hearing just, "Because I said so!"

  2. DANG!!!!

    I thought I beat you to it!!! I JUST noticed the title, just changed it, went to listen to something a friend in Oz sent me, and when I came back, there was your comment! I think you'll note, dear boy, that the title is repaired. (I proof read EVERYTHING but the danged title!)

    I simply can't get away with diddly, anymore...


    I loved your clean underwear comment... hehehe. True, so true. And as a former EMT, I can attest... you are so right!


  3. A favourite of my dear departed mother's was: If ye dinnae stoap that richt the noo, Ah'll tak' ma hand aff yer face, so Ah will.

    (She was Scottish, after all.)

    There comes a point in a boy's life when he simply has to stop pondering the imponderables. I'm 21 now (who coughed?) and I still have no idea what she meant.

    Ah, mothers. Who'd be without them?

  4. Oh, man! Jack... as I read that, I could HEAR her saying it! It was/is the strangest thing!

    Thank you for sharing that.


    It's quite amazing, but my own mother really doesn't have to say a thing. A certain look, a sigh, the body language... why, I'm getting the willies, right now, just thinking about it!

    (I love you, Mum!)

    Thanks again, Boy.

  5. That's one very cute little ass.

  6. Trev, you always say the nicest things!