Thursday, January 26, 2012

sh*t my mom says

If you are a mother, you will repeat yourself many, many times.

"Stop touching that, leave your brother alone, be quiet, stop it, no, no, no, eat your dinner, we HAVE a dishwasher, get ready for school, where are your shoes? why don't you hang up your coat? do you have any homework? leave your brother alone, I said no!"

Like all moms, I say the same things over and over again. I know that words don't mean nearly as much as action, and that whacking someone in the back of the head, or taking away video game privileges, is far more motivating than the sound of my voice. Still, I talk. I talk and I talk and I talk. I'm Charlie Brown's teacher, white noise, a butterfly batting its eyelashes in a thunderstorm. So why don't I just shut the heck up?

I'm a mother, remember? Watch your attitude and don't you dare tell me to be quiet.

My kids don't seem to listen to me, just like I didn't listen to my mom. I know that I didn't listen because even though I am now old and she is older, she still says the same things to me. Over and over.

In a flash of insight something occurred to me today. Maybe she, like me, says these things over and over because {{GASP}} I need to hear them.

My mother has said something like 5,343,890 important things to me in my life, and twice as many unimportant things. (Love you, Mom.)But two sayings come to mind that I seem to have heard more than the others.

One: "Live within your means."
Two: "Everything in moderation."

I can't decide which one I dislike more. Living within my means? That's preposterous. And not fun, not fun at all.

Everything in moderation? Just as bad. Even chocolate? And wine? They are much more fun in excess.

I am very bad at both of these.

I struggle with the constraints of my circumstances. I have never been good with budgeting, planning, or staying home from the mall when I have no cash.I am one of those people who glows with self-satisfaction when I get something on sale - see how much I "saved?" - even though I paid for it on a high interest credit card.

And moderation? Someone famous said that complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation, and dang, that is so true. Once I start, I just don't know when to stop.

Now I know why my mom has repeated these sayings so frequently. It all makes sense. She repeats them because I do not listen. She repeats them because I need to hear them. She repeats them because she loves me.

I believe God gives us the right mother. Babies don't really get mixed up in the nursery, no matter what we'd like to believe, or what our older brothers may have told us. These things that she says that really get under my skin? It's all about not wanting to hear the things that will force me to look in the mirror and see someone who needs to change.

Mothers are for loving. Good mothers love both soft and strong - they will even tell us what we don't want to hear.

As often as necessary.

Now, go brush your teeth, put away your shoes, eat your dinner and don't forget - we HAVE a dishwasher.

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