Sunday Post ~ "The two biggest questions to ask ourselves in life, at any age, are: Are most of the people I know glad that I am here? Am I glad that I am here, myself? Anyone who can honestly answer 'YES' to those two questions most of the time has learned to BEHAVE in this world and to live a happy life." -- from the book, above
If you look at my Mother's Day posts of the past couple of years, you'll see that I am not territorial about this day, as a mother. I see it as a celebration of the qualities in any person that go into mothering others. Nurturing, guiding, taking care, being an example to, teaching others. I want it to be a day of inclusivity for all those who extend themselves to others. Thank you to those of you who visit here and have mothered me in these ways, with empathy, advice, reality checks, humor. And thank you to those of you who've let me mother you a little bit, without taking offense or recoiling in horror.
Today is not just Mother's Day. It's my Mom's birthday, too. 84. I've been thinking and talking with a couple of my brothers about some of the things she said to us as we were growing up. Little Momisms that we heard far too often to appreciate back in the day, but that have stuck with us.
As many good Hillbillian mothers do, she would preface some of her sayings with, "Remember, the Bible says . . . " In adulthood, I've discovered that the Bible says no such thing, much of the time.
"Cleanliness is next to Godliness." I'm pretty sure this was a "the Bible says," but it doesn't. But it could. But it doesn't.
"You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar." And my eye-rolling response was always something like, "Yea, but who wants FLIES?!" Even so, this one probably had a lot to do with helping shape my personality.
"You're no better than anyone else." I learned this one well.
"You're no worse than anyone else." Still working on this one, sometimes.
"You treat the janitor the same as the governor." Not that I ever had much occasion to interact with either the janitor or the governor. But if the opportunity ever presents, I'll treat them the same. I'm pretty sure I got that one down.
"Never put off 'til tomorrow what you can do today." I have SO flunked this one.
"If you want something done right, do it yourself." I bought this one for many years; it's not really the best advice, IMO.
"Things will look better in the morning." This is often true; sometimes, these days, it's just for a moment in the morning, but still, it's true.
"Pray about it." Got that one.
"Never take from someone what you can't return." She was talking about someone's reputation. That's a good one.
"You can dress up a dog turd and make it look good." I don't think that one was in the Bible. And then there was the seemingly contradictory, "You can't polish a turd."
"It doesn't matter how you feel, as long as you look good." This was partly in jest, but partly not. The message was something akin to what Shawkey's mother told her, "Get up and do something, you'll feel better." My Mom was saying that even when you feel lousy, you should get your bath, and "fix your face," and put on something pretty, and nice-smelly, and you'll feel just a little better. And I have to admit, grudgingly, it's the truth.
"Now smile and get it all over your face." She would say this when I was being pouty, moody, and it would make me mad, but I would eventually be unable to not smile, then laugh.
"Pretty is as pretty does." People thought I was a cute kid. They told me that rather frequently. This was her way of communicating to me that what was inside was more important than what was outside.
And the absurd, but hard to argue with, "People have more fun than anybody."
My Mom doesn't know about my blog, or any blog, for that matter. So this isn't really "for" her. She did teach me how to behave, and why. Her advice ranged from the deeply philosophical to the exceedingly silly. Just thought I'd share a little of her with you, today.
So what did your Mom tell you?
file under: &Sunday Post &Family