Our Family Motto

Motherhood Moments

Every family needs a motto.

I discovered ours one day last fall at dinnertime, when the nursing baby was yelling, Julianna was whining, and Alex was shouting about who knows what. Superman, his favorite shirt being dirty, a fly buzzing around—it could have been anything. Of course, none of them directed their angst toward Daddy, who was newly arrived home from work, sitting at the table waiting for me to put the food on the table so he could eat before his piano students arrived. Nope, they know which direction to aim their rancor.

Now, moms know that it’s impossible to pretend their kids are not in anguish, even if you know all they need is food, and you’re working on that—you can’t block it out. You can’t even compartmentalize it. It’s not in Mom’s psyche. We’re wired to freak out when they freak out. And so I rushed around, every moment more frantic, until finally I stopped and threw my hands out and shrieked desperately:

“Everybody just CALM DOWN!”

I pointed to them each in turn. “You calm down, you calm down, you calm down! I’m making your food! It will be there in a minute!”

Older, wiser mothers can guess how well that worked. Uh-huh. Not at all.

Bless Alex. If not for him, this might have been one more “Mom is losing it” moment, quickly buried among a million others. But not Alex. No, Alex leaped to his feet and echoed my stance, pointing at Julianna and Nicholas and me. “Everybody calm down! You calm down, and you calm down, and you calm down!”

And in a moment of uncontrollable giggles, our family motto was born.

A motto I still have to squeeze between my teeth almost daily…

Okay, folks, your turn–what is YOUR family motto? (Think hard. I know you have one, even if you haven’t realized it yet!)