To every daughter who ever uttered the words, “I’m never going to be like my mother,” I hate to break the news to you. It will happen, sneaking up on you when you least expect it. Those famous last words will come rushing back and kick you in the rear.
You know what I’m talking about. Memories of having to cut your own switch, you swore NEVER to use corporal punishment. So, you bought a cute little time-out chair. You gloated over your parenting skills until the little angel reached her third birthday and decided she could out last you. Exhausted and patience long gone, the first nugget rolled off your tongue. “Do you want a spanking?” After that, the challenge was on. The little darling tested every resolve you ever made and your mother’s words tumbled out faster than water over a dam.
“Because I said so, that’s why.”
“Wait till your father gets home.”
“If you fall and break a leg, don’t come running to me.”
“Don’t you use that tone with me.”
“Don’t get smart with me.”
“If all your friends jumped off of a bridge, would you?”
“You better stop that crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.”
“I don’t care what the other kids parents told them, I said no.”
“I’m not asking you, I’m telling you.”
“Don’t put that in your mouth, you don’t know where it’s been.”
“Don’t make me come in there.”
“Go to your room and don’t come out.”
“I pray to God, you grow up and have a houseful just like you.”
But, the clincher happened when your teenager rolled her eyes at you for the first time and the world spun on its axis.
“You roll your eyes again at me, and I will smack them into tomorrow.”
With her words reverberating in your ears, you run to the mirror horrified at the “mommy jeans “ and worn tee-shirt you’re wearing and notice for the first time, the crow’s feet, and the hint of gray hairs. “Oh My God!” The reflection of your mother stares back.
Relax, acting like your mother happens to all of us. Blame genetics, after all you’re fifty percent her, or imagine she passed on to you her secret words of wisdom. Children didn’t come with a parent’s manual and although helpful, Dr. Spock and the other how-to books are nothing more than quick start guides. After those beginning years, you’re pretty much spitting in the wind and flying by the seat of your pants. You can’t prepare for this wild ride of love between a mother and her child, but words of wisdom tucked away for just the right time are priceless.
So, on Mother’s Day salute your mother, give her a call, and thank her for all the words of wisdom she has imparted to you. If you haven’t used them you will, and while you’re at it, you might want to find out a little bit more about her favorite bush.
Do you have any favorite words from mom? I'd love to hear them. Leave me a comment.