The Top Ten Things Mama Taught Me

May 10, 2018


1. Manners. I hated learning all 192 of them, and I was the only girl north of Baltimore who knew how to curtsy. I was banished from many meals, red with shame for “smacking my lips” or slipping an elbow onto the table. Most of them were absurd and out of touch, but included in that package was learning to respect those folks older and usually smarter and learning to be gracious with the ungracious. Poise. It’s an old-fashioned ideology.

2. How to make the best southern biscuit in the world. Sorry, I’d have to kill you if I told you how, and besides, it’s acquired, not taught. Just stay close by, I’ll give you some warm out of the oven, soft as Gabriel’s pillow.

3. .Every time you say “I can’t,” substitute it with “I don’t want to.” Dang, she was right again—every time.

4.  The only time it’s okay to lie is when someone gets a bad hairdo.

5.  Rudeness is allowed when someone talks too much. “Just walk away. They won’t even notice.”

6.  Swearing is a lazy use of language. There are more creative ways to express yourself.

7.  Life is short – eat french fries and drink milkshakes.

8. There is no sorrow like losing a child – you will not get over it, and that’s okay.

9.  People can be jackasses (her word), but refer back to #1.

10. “Motherhood is self-defeating; the only way you succeed is to let go.”

My mom is in heaven now, finally reunited with a son and a grandson. I don’t think she would’ve called herself a great mother but let’s be real – we are winging it, especially when they’re teens.  Love really does cover a multitude of sins, because Love is gracious, just like my mom taught me. Only God’s love is perfect, but a mom’s comes pretty close. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you beautiful moms out there!

My grandson Eli presenting a rose to his mom.