Anyone who has read this column over the years knows I’m a sucker for quotes, jokes and aphorisms. This being Mother’s Day, if scrounged around and found a few related to moms.
"My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it." - Buddy Hackett This wasn’t the case with the food at our house because, mom being such a good cook, I always took it rather than left it. But it’s also another way of saying, “Enough is enough!” which I sometimes heard when arguing too long for a privilege or new purchase.
“The reason I don’t call my mother more often is that I get tired of her complaining that I never call.” - Melanie White It’s rare that a mother complains about a child calling too much … but it happens from time to time. I’ve seen it most in homesick students.
“An ounce of mother is worth a ton of clergy.” - Spanish Proverb This makes me think of a priest telling a little boy when confessing a sin, “You’d better stop doing that…or I’m going to tell your mother!”
“Never let your mom brush your hair when she's mad at your dad.” –Anonymous I witnessed this with my three younger sisters. Not a pretty sight.
“To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power.” - Maya Angelou Some mothers, like hurricanes, blow slow, strong and long. Though sometimes ominous, it’s not always a bad thing. The training comes in handy later in life.
"Mothers are all slightly insane." - J.D. Salinger Of course, we’re all slightly insane. But if you want to witness it specific to a mother, try hurting or offending a her child in front of her. Or see what happens if she learns you’ve been negatively gossiping about her kid on social media.
"I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them." - Phyllis Diller I want this as a father as well.
"My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it."
- Mark Twain I’ve always hoped my mother felt this way about me.
“I’ve been married 14 years and I have three kids. Obviously I breed well in captivity.” - Roseanne Barr In my mom’s case it was seven kids in 17 years, so the sentiment applies.
"Any mother could perform the jobs of several air-traffic controllers with ease." – Lisa Alther So true. My dad was gone at least half the time — if not more — working on the railroad and coaching basketball and baseball, which left my mother to sort out all the takeoffs and landings of seven kids. These days, it’s not only that, it’s holding down a job along with the myriad of teams, clubs and classes children have to be ferried back and forth to.
Which brings to mind this story: In an attempt to balance, childrearing, work and motherhood, a mother delegated the grocery shopping to her young babysitter. But the job proved a tad daunting. One day while at work, she texted from the supermarket, “Can’t find Brillo pads. All they have are Tampax and Kotex.”
“The way I feel, if the kids are still alive when my husband gets home from work, I’ve done my job.” - Roseanne Barr Like air traffic control, mothering a passel of children is an extremely stressful job. No one wants to work double shifts.
“No matter how old a mother is…she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement.” - Florida Scott-Maxwell This is a universal, genetic truth, I imagine.
“While it may be physically possible to have a baby after 40, forty children are probably enough.” - Kelkulus Pretty funny. But, just for kicks I decided to look it up: The highest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69. The oldest verified mother to give birth naturally was aged 66 years 358 days when she gave birth to twins!
"The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found." - Calvin Trillin As I mentioned in the beginning, my mother is a great cook so this wasn’t a problem at our house. I have, on occasion, visited a friend whose mother was a bad cook…and had to feign lack of appetite. Not easy for someone who loves to eat as much as I do.
I’d imagine if the mother’s a bad cook the family might eat out a lot. In closing, here’s a story about a family trip out to eat: The night we took our three young sons to an upscale restaurant for the first time, my husband ordered a bottle of wine. The server brought it over, began the ritual uncorking, and poured a small amount for me to taste. At which point my six-year-old piped up, "Mom usually drinks a lot more than that."
— J.T. Knoll is prevention and wellness coordinator at Pittsburg State University. He also operates Knoll Mindfulness Training and Consulting Services in Pittsburg. He can be reached at 231-0499 or firstname.lastname@example.org.