As Mother’s Day approaches, I fondly remember many of my mother’s frequently used expressions.
Growing up in a house with four kids, my mother had her hands full while my dad was at work. There were many times when one or more of us were misbehaving, talking back, telling fibs or refusing to eat meals. So it’s no wonder my mother had several standard responses to keep us in line.
As it turns out, these phrases are repeated in households across the country, almost verbatim by other parents raising their children.
Exasperated by our ability to run away from her discipline, she would say: “Just wait until your father gets home.”
We would then pray that she would forget to tell him or that he would be in a good mood when he came home.
On occasion when she caught us she would say: “This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you.”
Anyone who was caught knew that just wasn’t true and that this was one of Mom’s fibs.
Dinner was a time for the family to sit down at the table and enjoy my mother’s home-cooked meal, which included dessert pretty much every day. The first rule was: “No elbows on the table,” closely followed by, “Close your mouth when you chew,” and “Don’t play with your food!”
On occasion, when the food didn’t meet our approval, it was: “Think of those poor starving children in Africa.”
Our typical response was: “Good, let’s send it to them in the mail.”
Mom always trumped that with: “Well, if you can’t finish your dinner, then you can’t have any dessert.”
Being a mom is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Only as adults can we appreciate how challenging raising children can be.
There is no number of words that could ever express how grateful I am to have her in my life, or just how much I love her. I realize now all of those phrases were in our best interest and one of her may ways of showing her love for us.
Geri Anderson is a Powell River resident.