Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I mentioned the other day that I went to a Christmas brunch for church. Well, no one tell my mother this, but I wore red lipstick. BRIGHT red lipstick. At 10:00 in the morning. To a *church* event. I received a few compliments on how great I looked, and how well the RED lipstick went with my coloring, and felt pretty darn spiffy. But if my mother had been there? I'd still be getting lectured about how a real lady would NOT wear "whore red" lipstick before 6pm - and certainly not to a church function!

I must admit, I got a big case of the giggles ... and then went on a nostalgic adventure of all the things my mom taught me that stay with me every single day. Even better? I find myself using these same "Momisms" on my own children.

"Exercise your adverbs!" The daughter of two extremely grammatically correct people caused me to be all kinds of insane when it comes to language. When asked a question, a simple answer of only a couple of words was unacceptable!

"Can't is a figment of your imagination!" It didn't matter how hard I tried at something, failure just wasn't an option. If I was going to invest my time into an activity, then I had to master it - no questions asked and no whining allowed.

"Priorities are the tools that will get you ahead of your comrades!" It took me a long time to understand why I would actually want to get "ahead" of my "comrades", and I'm still not really sure I get it ... but I think it has something to do with getting my act together and not wasting frivolous amounts of time on nothingness. (Oh, Facebook apps, you have foiled my plans again! Stupid farms!)

My mom was a stickler. She had to be. She was a single mom from the time I was five, and she worked hard. By the time I was 10, she worked two jobs and I was trusted to do all of my schoolwork and my chores. There were weeks when I only saw her on the weekends. She taught me a lot about how to run a house, how to take care of others, how to think on your feet, and how to scramble out of a situation if you had to. I am strong because of her.

My mom is now living far away and is a completely different woman than the one I grew up with. She suffered a stroke almost 5 years ago, and it really changed her. She no longer sweats the small stuff. She's forgotten about all of the things that she was ever mad at me for, and can't ever figure out why I would have been mad at her. She even has days when she forgets that she and my dad got divorced. There are so many things that I wish hadn't happened between us ... but I'm glad that I'm able to enjoy a relationship with her now that isn't clouded by all of that.

I think of the pearls of wisdom I pass on to my own children now. What am I teaching them? How much of it will they remember - maybe even treasure? How much of it will they decidedly forget?

"Practice patience!" They hate it when I say this to them. But patience isn't something you perfect, it is something you have to practice every single day. Like an athlete practices his sport, so a person must practice being patient with other people.

"Use your listening ears!" Not just regular ears made for hearing, these ears are specially formatted to obtain and comprehend special information. They are usually kept in pockets for safe-keeping and easy access.

"Be good to your siblings - God gave them to you to be your best friends!" Hubby was an only child growing up and there is such a huge age difference between me and my siblings, that I might as well have been an only child. We are teaching our children that they are each others best friends, and they are in the same family for a reason. They are to treasure each other and treat each other right. Even if they get really mad at each other, they still need to love one another.

I wonder how many more sayings we'll gain over the years. I wonder how many we'll have to invent out of necessity. I wonder if they'll pass them on to their own children. I can only pray that what I teach them every single day they will keep with them, they will use them, and they will love that they learned that from their Mom.

They will love that their Mom taught them more than just fluffy bunnies.

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