Things your mama always told you...
April 23, 2008
In keeping with the Mother's Day theme and our Mother's Day Essay Contest (details on Page 3-A), I thought I'd pass along a few reminders I received via a press release.
Bryan Golden wrote a column called 'Life's Lessons from Your Mother,' which prompted a stroll down memory lane.
My mom taught us much, still does. She teaches in two different ways—verbal and non-verbal. The way she lives, the things she endures, the things she's done for my sisters and me and others are silent lessons that speak volumes.
The lessons Bryan recalls are similar to mine, and will likely be similar to many of you. He's grouped them under subheaders, but whatever verbiage your mom used you'll likely recognize the lessons. Here they are:
"'You can be whatever you want to be.' You have no limitations, the whole world is open to you. Your future is ahead of you. You can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. It's okay to dream.
"'Be nice to your friends and they will be nice to you.' People respond to the way you treat them. If you are mean and selfish, no one will want to play with you. Share your toys and don't be a bully. Be considerate of the feelings of others.
"'Do your homework and you will get good grades.' Success takes work. If you don't put in the effort, you won't reap the rewards. Those who work hard will succeed.
"'Clean your room now.' Get things done today and you won't have to worry about them. If you let things pile up, it will be difficult to catch up.
"'You can play once your chores are done.' Get your work done before you take a break. Then you can relax and have a good time.
"'Stay in school.' If you don't get an education, your opportunities will be limited. Don't drop out of school. The more you learn, the more you benefit.
"'Sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never hurt you.' It doesn't matter what other people say. Don't allow others to upset you. There will always be mean people. Don't pay attention to them.
"'Don't waste your time.' Time goes by very fast. Don't wait to pursue your dreams.
"'Be thankful for what you have.' There are many who are not as fortunate as you. Be grateful for your home and family. It doesn't matter what someone else has.
"'Don't complain.' Whining is annoying. If you have something to say, say it. If you complain all the time no one will want to listen to you.
My mom taught me all of this and much more. Important things like knowing who you are and not being afraid to stand up for yourself. Like taking pride in the work you do and not settling for second best. Be compassionate but not wimpy. Do not be anybody's doormat. Don't wallow in sorrow, depression, aches and pains. Be strong. Be careful. Be nice. Be who you are.
In the kitchen, my mom taught me how to make homemade pasta—complex and delicious things like ravioli with meat or cheese or both, lasagna, manicotti and all that. Impressive dishes like baked rissotto, timpano, tortes, mousses, and whatever else you can think of. Bread and pizza, cookies and cakes, homemade ricotta cheese, homemade jam—my mom did it all and sometimes still does.
The only thing I didn't quite catch onto from my mom is in the laundry room.
She can take any item with any stain—this includes wine, tomato sauce, olive oil, motor oil, grass, what-have-you and make it come out better than new. I am not quite sure how she does this. It's a process, and admittedly it's a little more involved than mine, which is waiting until I get enough clothes and towels, etc. to justify a load and tossing it all in the machine together.
It's a lesson I'd prefer to skip, I must say, kind of like math class. And while she's a damn good teacher, my mom's also a true-blue mom and she'll just grab whatever it is I'm having the problem with and do it for me. Now that's a lesson in love.
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