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What Did Your Mother Tell You?

May 18, 2008
A mother's work is never done. In fact, a study done by Ohio State University showed that married women with children feel more than twice as rushed in their daily lives than single women do. Their husbands, however, didn't feel more rushed than their single counterparts. Is there something wrong with that or am I rushing - to judgment?

Every mother tells her children that honesty is the best policy and not to lie; and that's what one rushed friend of mine told her five-year-old son. When she took her son to mass, he watched the priest hold up the cubes of bread and say it was the body of Christ. Then the little boy watched the priest hold up the wine and say it was the blood of Christ. After that the boy sat wide-eyed for a moment and then leaned over to his mother and whispered, "He's lying".

When I was a little girl and forgot to shut the front door or the back door, my mother would ask me if I'd been brought up in a barn. The question confused me. If my mother didn't know where I'd been brought up, maybe I'd been adopted. When I was old enough to understand "brought up in a barn" is a figure of speech, I still wasn't old enough to know better. I glibly reminded my mother that Jesus had been born in a stable and that he'd turned out okay. After that I didn't turn out - of the front door or the back door for two days.

I told my sons a lot of things at the dinner table - "Don't reach; ask for it to be passed"; "Take the piece nearest you"; "Share with your brother". To teach them to share, one son cut whatever it was and the other chose which piece he wanted. As a result of my efforts, I got two sons with reasonably good table manners. What I didn't get were mathematicians. No matter what they shared, one always complained that the other had gotten the "bigger half".

"Hold my hand when we cross the street" grew into "Look both ways" when they were old enough to cross streets by themselves. When they were old enough to go places by car, I told them to look both ways at stop signs. That's when it changed. That's when the way they looked was their way.
About the Author
KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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