Trust me, I’m Your Mother

IMG_1620Dear children,

It’s your mother.  Not only am I your mother, but I have a mother too.  And she had a mother, and she had a mother and so on and so on and so on, just like that old shampoo commercial from the 70s.  Not only that, but I grew up watching reruns of The Brady Bunch and Happy Days.  That alone practically qualifies me as an expert in Mom-dom.  Not only that, but it is a well-know fact that mother knows best, you should always listen to your mother and quite simply, because I said so.

Photo:  nypost.com
Photo: nypost.com

Despite what you may think, children, I was not placed on this earth to make life more difficult for you.  I do not always say ‘no’.  It is not my sole goal in life to make sure that you suffer in misery throughout your childhood and that you don’t get to do anything your friends do.  Yes, I do know how to cut toast, how to count to ten when playing Monopoly and though I may not know which Clone Commander wears green and which wears blue (Gree and Rex, ha, ha, you doubters), I generally know quite a bit about quite a few things.  Just like Carol Brady knew what she was talking about when she told her kids, “Don’t play ball in the house!”   Just like the Mom in A Christmas Story knew what she was talking about when she said, “You’ll shoot your eye out!”  How do I know? Greg and Peter and Bobby went and broke Carol’s favorite vase, didn’t they? And Ralphie went and nearly shot his eye out.  That’s how I know.

There are a lot of things it is my job to teach you in this life.  How to be kind to others.  How to respect differences.  Table manners.  Why working hard and never giving up is important.  Why giving back is the right thing to do.  But sometimes, oh children of mine, it’s the little things.  So while I’m sitting her waiting for the moving man to come and give me an estimate, I thought I’d share with you some motherly advice.  Sometimes you do need to sweat the small stuff.

Photo: chicagoparent.com
Photo: chicagoparent.com

Boys, whatever you do, don’t be Jimmy Johnson.  Who is Jimmy Johnson?  Jimmy Johnson is the boy in 3rd grade who was still picking his nose and eating whatever he found.  Yes, I still remember his name, and yes, he was teased.  All the time.  He was teased, dear sons, because he was 9 years old and picking his nose and eating it.  So don’t be another Jimmy  Johnson.  Just don’t go there.  Trust me, I’m your mother.

Don’t offer directions, advice, or how-to to your parent or any other adult in moments of stress.  Yes, yes, we know you have good intentions, but no grown person wants to hear that they are putting the comma in the wrong place when trying to get money out of a foreign ATM machine and it’s telling them, in Uzbek, they have insufficient funds.  Trying to get money out of an Uzbeki ATM is stressful enough without your well-meaning child telling you you’re doing it wrong.  Same goes for directions when driving or anything that you are not legally old enough to do, know how to do, or shouldn’t even know about.  Trust me, I’m your mother.

Table manners are important.  Some day when you are sitting with the girl you’ve had a crush on for months at Pizza Hut over a romantic, deep-pan pepperoni, you are going to remember that your mother told you to use your napkin and not your shirt.  Someday, at a work function you will know how to hold your knife and fork properly and you will not embarrass yourself.  Someday, sitting with your future in-laws, you will feel a belch burbling up in your gut and you will excuse yourself from the table.  And they will think, “My, this boy has lovely table manners.”  And you’ll be in like Flynn.   Trust me, I’m your mother.

The truth will set you free.  How do I know?  Because I have eyes in the back of my head, that’s why.  I know all, I see all, I am mom-niscient.  And duh, because I was a kid too once, a long, long time ago.  It is pretty easy to see and/or smell that you haven’t washed your hands when I’ve asked you too, or that you haven’t brushed your teeth before bed.  Yes, the lies will get more dangerous as you age and you’ll become more adept at it.  But I am going to find out, so it’s always better to be truthful from the start.  Trust me, I’m your mother.

Until you are old enough to go west, young men, I will be all over you like a nasty rash.  Yes, I will be barking at you to clean your room.  Yes, I will be reminding you not to pick your nose, or use your sleeve as a napkin or eat with your fingers.  Yes, I will make sure I know where you are and who you are with and what you are doing and that you aren’t playing ball in the house or hanging out with someone named The Fonz.  Or anyone who only goes by one name preceded by “The”.  That’s just the way it is, guys.  Why?  Because I love you. Trust me, I’m your mother.

336Be a kid for as long as you can.  Because being a grown-up is hard.  It’s boring and monotonous for long stretches of time and you have people relying on you and calling you on that i-Phone 5 you saved up for in the middle of the night because of some imaginary emergency. Ride your bikes, play outside, make sure when you say ‘we’ you mean people and not a machine.  Eat ice-cream in the summer and watch movies in the winter.  Look forward to your first kiss and going to prom.  Do your homework.  Study hard.  But don’t worry if you aren’t the best at everything you do.  Do cannonballs and make arm-pit fart noises and camp out and play spin-the-bottle and, well, just enjoy being a kid.

Trust me, I’m your mother.

Fondest regards,

Mom

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10 thoughts on “Trust me, I’m Your Mother

  1. doublewhirler May 17, 2013 / 2:31 am

    A colleague once reveal the secret to her marriage: “we can give each other advice on what to do, or how to do it, but never both.” Guess that’s something you never outgrow. Great post!

    Like

    • dhonour May 17, 2013 / 10:28 am

      She is a braver woman than I. Our secret to marriage is “pay someone else to teach you how to do something, even if your spouse is an expert at it”.

      Like

  2. ladyfindhorn May 17, 2013 / 4:32 am

    A fantastic piece of writing that had me smiling all the time I was reading it. Bravo! Loved it!

    Like

    • dhonour May 17, 2013 / 10:27 am

      Thanks so much! I so happy you enjoyed it.

      Like

  3. lexborgia May 17, 2013 / 4:05 pm

    You got a kick out of this piece, didn’t you! The Omnipotent Mom. Love the way you always return to Star Wars; don’t Forget, the Millenium Falcon is the fastest ship in the galaxy, though it appears to be a pile of junk —“Luke, I am your mother.” Those boys will count their Blessings one day soon.

    Like

    • dhonour May 17, 2013 / 5:22 pm

      I did have a lot of fun with it. It started with trying to convince my son he’s too old to pick his nose where people can see him….it’s just nice to be able to write about everyday stuff after I finally got that gas-baggy, long-winded, whiny rant out of my system last week. I’m glad you picked up on the recurring themes, I do like to think I come full circle every now and again. Did you ever read John Irving? He and his recurring themes of dying children and dancing bears and Vienna. Always dancing bears and Vienna. Mine are shoes, Lego, and Star Wars. Not nearly as erudite and literary, but we can’t have it all, can we?

      Like

  4. Rup May 17, 2013 / 7:33 pm

    “Mom-niscient”. Love it. Mums (note spelling 😉 ) rock despite all the grief and forgetting that their little boy is now an adult!

    Like

    • dhonour May 20, 2013 / 7:45 pm

      Rup,
      Where I come from, Mums are flowers ;-). And we do rock. We rock totally, utterly, and completely. Often we have to take medication to make it through the day, but we rock nonetheless.

      Like

  5. icpixiedust June 14, 2013 / 6:01 pm

    Beautifully put. Loved the advice to your children!

    Like

    • dhonour June 14, 2013 / 6:55 pm

      Ha, thanks. This one stemmed from repeatedly having to tell my almost 9 year old to stop picking his nose where every one could see it. I’ve had to resort to deducting a minute of iPad time for every time I see him with a finger buried in his nostril.

      Like

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