It really is better to date only Catholic boys. (Presuming you’re a Catholic girl, of course.)
Food is one of the biggest expenses for a family of six, but that doesn’t mean you should just accept it. Mom taught me to garden, can, buy a whole animal and freeze it (if only I had room!), and perhaps most importantly, to shop at Aldi first.
The best cure for a thief-in-training is to march her back into the store and make her apologize to the cashier and hand the candy back. (Humiliation is a good teacher.)
There’s nothing like a deadline for motivation. (Mom presented me with an ultimatum shortly before I left for college. She pointed to the stacks of papers lying around my room and said, “You will have those stacks cleaned up and out of this room before you leave for college!” I had it done in a week. And I couldn’t believe how far back some of those papers—homework, mostly—were dated.)
Sometimes, you’ve got to kick your kid out of the nest. I was the one who was terrified of change. (Was? Is!) I didn’t want to learn to drive, didn’t want to get a job, didn’t want to go to college. Mom’s proverbial boot on my bottom was the only thing that made me take the plunge.
When a child is going through a crisis of faith, the best reaction is not a self-indulgent cry of “what did I do wrong?” but to listen and wait for divine guidance. I remember sitting on the stoop one afternoon in college, fretting about the existence of God (a crisis brought about by dating an atheist; see #2), and Mom not freaking out, but answering that if you go back to whatever brought the universe into being—the Big Bang, whatever—if you trace it all the way back to the beginning, eventually you have to ask, “What caused that to happen?” And the answer to that question is God. Beyond that, she said, everything can be believed one way or another, but the very fact that something caused it to happen was the proof of God. It was a mind-opening moment, and a lesson that I still have to revisit sometimes.
And so I take this inadequate forum to say: thanks, Mom. I love you.
And now it’s your turn. What have you learned from your mother?
Shared with Jen’s 7 Quick Takes Friday.