Pearls Of Mom Wisdom
“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”
~ My Mom~
She’d usually lob that nugget of wisdom behind her, into the backseat of the car, where my brother and sister and I were calling each other “doodie heads” or something worse.
That directive felt like a HUGE challenge to me, since everything bugged me and I could never keep my mouth shut. It may as well have been a vow of silence, which I tried once – and thought I would rather die.
We weren’t allowed to “tattle” either, and it was our “go to” pastime as children.
She just would not have any of it.
“I don’t care – work it out.” She’d snort, exasperated, after hearing hours of “he did this” and “she said that.”
If we weren’t bleeding and could still walk upright, her complaint department was closed.
“Tell your troubles to Jesus” was an old favorite.
It would leave her mouth the minute she sensed a sour face walking in her direction. She wouldn’t even turn her head your way.
That one was Kryptonite; nothing could turn a disgruntled Catholic kid around faster than a suggestion of a bitch session with the Almighty. Too much like confession.
Plus, I knew even then, that Jesus would just laugh.
“Methinks thou doth protest too much” Is from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet – and my mom.
Us kids could get very dramatic, and I was, by far, the worst of the bunch.
My mom nicknamed me Desdemona, who is a character from Othello, ( yeah she’s clearly THAT mom) because of my histrionics. I could bring the crowd to its feet over a burnt grilled cheese sandwich, or tangled hair.
“Children are to be seen and not heard.”
That was saved for those occasions when we had adult company at the house. It was the sixties and everyone said that to their kids, so I’ll give her a pass.
Of course it never applied to me.
I’d politely meet a complete stranger, and then ask them if they’d like to hear a special song I’d prepared for that evening.
Precocious? Ya think?!
But her best words of wisdom, the ones I’ve taken with me into adulthood, into the world of internet haters, are these:
“Consider the source (honey).”
She’d just calmly shake her head and tisk a few tisks, clearly signifying the completely misguided nature of the comment that had made me cry, by someone who had NO business ruining my day.
“Well that just doesn’t sound like a smart boy” or “their mother lets them stay up past midnight” or “they don’t wear shoes.”
I’d weigh that against the insult – and immediately feel better.
I still do to this day.
Well played mom.