I’m sure I’ll write a post about my first Mother’s Day experience this year. (It’s been awesome and sweet and the day is only half way through). But I want to make sure I take time to publicly thank my own Mom in front of God and the internet. Last year I did a facebook tribute for my Mom for Mothers day. I listed 100 things she taught me. And this year I found myself revisiting this list, now through the lens of my own motherhood. So here it is one more time in its entirety. (Mommykins – I added one more to make it 101.) Thanks for all you do.
Much Love Momma!
(and No, you cannot call me Worm. She can. Because she’s my Mom and she does what she wants.)
Happy Mother’s Day!
1. Volunteering/Serving your community is not optional. Be involved.
2. NEVER pay full price. NEVER.
3. You must always use a mirror to make sure the back of your hair looks equally as fantastic as the front
4. Despite what your 4th Grade Teacher says Peas & Corn are a “bread”
5. Never over pluck your eyebrows or you’ll look weird.
6. Your “natural hair color” isn’t something you have to settle for
7. Never leave the house without putting your face on. No need to scare people.
8. Work hard or don’t bother
9. Don’t worry about the other guy – just do your best
10. If the principal bothers you all you need to know are these words “I’m Shirley Mennen’s kid – did you need something?” – EPIC!
11. Coupon Math and Shopping Math are way easier than Algebra
12. A 10-50 PI means A Wreck With Personal Injuries – so put the blue light in the car and open the garage door!
13. “Do…DOOOOO…DO DO DO DO”… is the radio tone for Sheffield Fire Department – if you hear it on the pager; get your mother.
14. It doesn’t really matter if your brother is breathing your air or looking at you; even if it’s annoying
15. Hamsters do respond to CPR – and only the good Mom’s are hard core enough to do it. Boo-ya!
16. Once aforementioned hamster passes onto the other side – don’t forget you put it in a check box in the freezer. Totally freaks the kids out when they go digging for a box of twinkies only to find their frozen dead pet. Grief cycle starts all over again.
17. In case of a tornado you should let your siblings join you in the bath tub for shelter because she loves you both more than the afore mentioned hamster (*ahem* – Andy Mennen!)
18. In the event of a tornado you better not be on the phone (even if it’s with Dad) when she calls or she will call the neighbor to come tell you to hang up and get in the bathtub (if your brother will let you).
19. Don’t play with fire; even though she and all her firefighter friends do.
20. Real women drive monster trucks (and fire trucks of course).
21. Don’t throw away the pull tab Wiedeman’s Beer that’s been in the fridge for 25 years. She might need it some day. (For those who are wondering – it’s still in the garage fridge)
22. A Yellow slushy with salt or sugar on the rim makes any bad day better (as long as you are of slushy drinking age of course!).
23. Napping is a sport; and we are olympians in our family
24. Managing your eyebrows is an act of public service. No one wants you to look like Bert and Ernie
25. If you break your Mom’s nose she will NEVER let you forget about it. (knocked her out cold – thought I killed her – it was traumatic; tickling incident gone horribly wrong – thought I was going to prison just ask my Dad)
26. Cleanliness is next to Godliness; or at the very least it makes the place look good and makes Mom happy.
27. Always alphabetize your tupperware lids; even though you think they can just go in the cupboard in any order – you’re wrong A…B….C…D… you get the picture
28. Date your canned goods. Even though they come with a “use by” date printed on them – those people can’t be trusted.
29. Cold cash is just that – COLD cash. So it’s completely awesome to keep your allowance in tupperware in the crisper drawer of the fridge!
30. If the school sends you a tutor that doesn’t speak spanish to teach you spanish – Don’t worry Mama Bear is gonna handle this one. No problemo! Comprende?
31. Everyone deserves reasonable accommodations. Disability doesn’t make you less of a person.
32. There’s always someone who has it worse than you; so be thankful
33. Midge gets the good guy in the end. Barbie is stuck with Ken and his mack truck smashed face. (I only wish I had space to tell you the whole Barbie / Midge / mack truck metaphor – PRICELESS!!!)
34. Keeping in mind of course that in the metaphor represented in #33 Barbie didn’t have a divorce attorney. That would ruin the metaphor – so go with it.
35. Always have your B.U.B.s with you. If you don’t know what a B.U.B. is you have to ask – My Mom or Brenda Gurnick
36. It’s okay to call your best friend a bad name if she was only in labor for 30 minutes when she had her baby. I’ll understand it when I grow up some day. (this one’s for you – Brenda Gurnick)
37. You don’t need money to have fun. Just to pay the bills. The good stuff in life is free.
38. If Mom’s packin’ her super soaker – you’re dead meat. She takes no prisoners and it doesn’t matter if you’re her sweet baby girl (or boy) – she will unload that beast on you. (And yes – she will shoot you in the face with it so GUARD YOUR EYES)
39. Regarding #38 – Mom always gets the biggest water gun. No exceptions. And if you really mess with her – she controls the hose. (and keep in mind she was a firefighter so she knows how to really get you!)
40. She brought me into this world and she can take me out (though she was clear I wouldn’t be going back the way I came)
41. When waking Mom up – try to step back quickly – she’s got a fierce right hook and Mama Bear doesn’t do mornings J
42. You can’t watch cartoons unless your bed is made. It’s like the law or something.
43. If there isn’t blood on the carpet you’ll probably live.
44. The seams on your towels should line up when you fold them; if they don’t – you’re doing it wrong and we have a family tradition to uphold. We’re darn good towel folders people; and that’s a legacy.
45. If the elephant trunk is turned down it’s bad luck. Trunks up only – otherwise it’s like bad Republican voodoo or something.
46. Real women put up a Christmas Forrest – not just one sad tree.
47. You can never have too many lights on the Christmas Tree (okay – well maybe; but consult with your local fire marshal to see what that magical line is)
48. Santa Claus doesn’t wrap Christmas Presents – he’s way too busy for that. So if you’re presents from Santa were wrapped; it was fraud.
49. Don’t store your Easter decorations in garbage bags or your teenage daughter with throw them out with the garbage (sorry Mom – but at least I took the trash out)
50. Always have at least one freezer and one refrigerator in your garage. That way you never run out of cold diet coke and popsicles!!!
51. If you break something from Home Interiors; She breaks your face. (note – my face is in tact and I never broke any of those glass bird thingies – whew!)
52. You can’t keep a good Mom down – Biological Dad split and she stepped up. Much respect Mama – his loss.
53. It’s entertaining to mess with your daughter when she’s all hopped up on drugs after surgery. Stories to share for generations (let’s just say apparently I asked Mom if she and I could move to Vegas for an interesting career venture)
54. What are mini-vans good for? Drive by Super Soaker Assaults. Duh!?
55. It hurts to be beautiful. Thus perm rods and French braids can never be too tight (even if you can no longer blink from your skin being pulled so tight)
56. Thank a soldier and be kind to their family. They have both made sacrifices for your freedom.
57. Common sense is not so common – this will frustrate you for the rest of your life (you were right Mom)
58. Be yourself. No need to be boring. There are plenty of other people doing that.
59. Mom’s make mistakes and kids don’t come with handbooks. This is where the “do your best” thing will come in handy.
60. Mom’s don’t get old; their kids do. (This one seems horribly unfair to me)
61. When the parrot starts flying through the house your first job is to turn off the ceiling fan. Otherwise carnage will ensue.
62. Having a piece of paper doesn’t make you smart – hard work does. So respect someone for their intelligence and life experience, not just their credentials. Some of the smartest people you’ll ever know never went to college
63. Mom’s have feelings and their hearts break too. Take the time to know her story.
64. Love God. He’s the One thing you can always count on. People will fail you – but he will not
65. Mom’s law – If she calls your first name (your cool). First and Middle Name (Run and lead with “I’m sorry”). First, Middle, and Last Name (plan your funeral – you’re dead meat).
66. Want a fight? Mess with myself or my brother. Game on – she’ll mess you up. (and yeah – my Mom could totally take your Mom – but I don’t recommend it.)
67. There’s no such thing as a clean plate club. Don’t over eat – just slap some saran wrap on that plate and eat it tomorrow.
68. Label and date your leftovers. Why? No one really knows.
69. Be articulate, educated, and informed. Don’t give people any reason to question your intelligence or integrity.
70. Pray with your kids – even if they’re running late for the bus
71. Take the high road. There usually isn’t as much traffic and you’ll get there faster in the end.
72. Always check behind the tv for easter candy. That bunny is tricky.
73. Santa goes on diets too so be sure to check with Mom before going the cookies and milk route. (One year Santa requested carrot sticks. Funny. Mom was eating lots of healthy stuff too. She and Santa have so much in common.)
74. Black Friday is NOT the biggest shopping day of the year. The day after Christmas is. Rookies.
75. Never go shopping without your three best friends. Betsy Bargain Hunter, Susie Smartshopper and Jessica Justification.
76. “Don’t bother with learning to sew. That’s why we have Amish people & catalogs.” J (she swears she doesn’t remember this one but it was hands down one of the funniest Mom lessons ever.)
77. Shopping is your patriotic duty to “stimulate the economy”. God bless America – how do I get to the Mall from here?
78. Be nice. It’s not rocket science and it makes all the difference in the world.
79. Learn from your mistakes so you won’t be forced to make them again. Practice makes perfect.
80. Wear sunscreen and don’t go to the tanning bed. (Promised my Mom years ago I would stop tanning and I haven’t been since; thus the pasty-ness)
81. You only get better with age so don’t freak out about the number.
82. If you invent a chocolate margarita at your favorite local mexican restaurant make sure you get them to commit (in writing) to naming said drink after you.
83. The “Kitchen” isn’t a room in your house. It’s the mexican restaurant down the street where everybody knows your name. J (yes – I have a magnet for Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant in case I need to reach Mom in an emergency)
84. Don’t watch MTV – unless of course you’re watching it for Madonna videos for your Mother. Then it’s totally fine.
85. You CANNOT open Christmas Presents unless you are listening to Gene Autry’s Christmas Cowboy Album. If you don’t head this warning; Santa will die. You don’t want that on your head now do you?
86. If you want to have Grandchildren some day don’t allow your son to wear tighty whiteys. (Your welcome little brother; just had to put that out there)
87. Always wipe your feet before you come to dinner. Just trust me on this one. You don’t want to know why.
88. It’s not nice to point at another woman’s hairstyle and scream “Mommy! Tell her you can fix that!!” Apparently it’s rude or something. (But seriously – Mom you could have TOTALLY fixed it!)
89. It is equally inappropriate to point at yet another woman and state “she needs a hysterectomy”. What can I say? I had no social skills as a child.
90. Never mess with a woman’s rubber duck. She’ll be scarred for life.
91. When eating ice cream – it should always be chased with chips. You have to balance the sweet with the salty or the universe will implode.
92. Silence is golden. As illustrated in this famous Mom quote “You shut your mouth when you’re talking to me”.
93. Saturday Night Family Bonding = Doctored up Deli Pizza and Salad while watching Star Trek the Next Generation (insert Star Trek theme here)
94. Music should be listened to LOUDLY. Period. End of story. Especially Henry Lee Summers, The Judds, and Rich Mullins (quite a trio don’t you think?)
95. In the event that your favorite cereal comes with a toy in it you may NOT dig through the box to locate it. You have to let gravity and sheer luck allow for it to fall into your cereal bowl. (If you are Andy G Mennen you disregard this rule and raid through the box like an animal)
96. Why? You ask. Because she’s the Mom – that’s why. Next question.
97. When it’s your birthday week you get to eat birthday cake for breakfast everyday despite what weight watchers says.
98. Once you have children it is no longer a good idea to have a glass top coffee table. Your son will leverage the see through top to cheat at Memory repeatedly which will only infuriate your daughter.
99. Never let your kids play any game called “trouble”. It will only end in them both being in “trouble”.
100.Take note of how many hours of labor your Mom went through. I grew up hearing “13 hours of labor and this is the thanks I get?”. Thanks indeed Momma! As I was in labor with my own sweet boy you stood by my side and comforted me and Skyler. You can hold those 13 hours over my head for the rest of my life. (And feel free to remind Ransom of the 23 hours he put his Momma through). You were right; our babies are worth every single second (even the ones before they give you narcotics).
101.You can’t possibly understand how much your Mother loves you. It’s out of your league.