Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mom! Hey, MOMMMM

I hear this a lot. Not so much from my own children anymore, for they have flown our nest and are Moms in their own rights.

But I hear it. Children everywhere call out that phrase. "Mom! Look at ME!" "Mom! Watch this!" "Mom! S/he broke my (fillintheblank)!" "Mom!" "Mommmm!" "Hey, Mom!!!"

There is a point in all our lives when we want our moms to see and be a part of everything. Of course, then comes age 12 or so, and they would like it if Mom became a hazy figure. SOME of the need for Mom's approval sweeps in and out over the next few years, and moms relish the (albeit brief) attention that before had so annoyed them prior to puberty.

There's also that age when the children know a lot more than mom, and, once again neither really likes the other for a while. It is a portal thru which we must all pass.

But allinall, Moms are a necessary part of becoming who we are. They infiltrate their children's very being and soul, and they place markers thruout their psyche that affects them for a lifetime. They give us a template, and most of us match it, good or bad. Some of us take what we like, and forget what we need to forget (my Animal Behaviorist friend calls this "being like Teflon").

I had a friend once who was so angry at her mom because she never said anything that was quotable.

Now. Once you've read that sentence, think back to SOMEthing that you've said in the past 24 hrs that your Mom told you. I thought everyone quoted their moms, that her words always came back to you at the moment that you needed it. Like the clean underwear thang, or as long as you have a smile on your face and your hair is brushed who cares if you are wearing the latest fashion? Or, your face is gonna freeze that way. Or, there are children in China who are starving (name three...--that response'll get your face slapped). Or even, you cannot fit that whole thang in your mouth.

My mom left us with a lot of quotes, in addition to the old standbys aforementioned. She told us to always pass on the Good. She told us to be a lady if it killed us. She told us that as long as we had manners, we could eat and drink with kings. We could get glad in the same pants we got mad in. We were praised for "going the second mile" (putting the liner in the trash can after we empty it). We were chastized if we did not take exquisite care of our hands. We never ate chicken salad (she had this "thing" about spoiled food). And we were told if we got pregnant before marriage, she'd jump off the Mississippi Bridge.

She cheated at cards. She carried a pistol in her purse. She wore 6-inch spike heels every day. She had her hair done professionally every week. She got up every morning at 5 am to fix our daddy's breakfast. She danced. She sang off-key. She believed in God.

I am sure that my daughters can add a few sentences regarding "quotable moments" from their mom. They actually did listen to me when I thought I was screaming to the wind. I have heard them tell their children some of the exact same things I told them. So, the eye rolling and the heavy sighs continue on to the next generation of children hearing these quotes.

I am fifty-six. Fifty-six and a half, really. My mom died when I was forty-three. I have lived a very good life and have even jumped a few minor hurdles. I'd like my mom to see what I've done. I'd like for her to look at how I've grown and what I've become. I'd like to be able to say Mom! Hey, MOMMMMM!

Guess we never really outgrow that.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

I didn't know that she sang off mom doesn't. And each night as I put MY daughter down to bed I sing lullaby's my momma taught me--Grace knows most of them by heart. "Don't TELL me to chill" "No fish" My momma taught me to "gush" and I'm NOT a gusher...she also taught me that it's OKAY to dig through the trash :) She understands me better than anyone else on this earth...
There is more, much more...maybe I should blog about it.