So, something happened, Sunday morning, that is probably pretty relatable for most of us, ladies. We got to church a little late as "spring forward" Sunday is always a bit more challenging than all of the other Sundays of the year. Half of our clocks were right and half weren't and we were just off our game. We got there and were making our way across the parking lot when I spotted my friend, Susan, in the distance. Susan is always a ray of sunshine....just one of my favorite people. I hadn't seen her in a while so we exchanged waves and shouted a few greetings back and forth over the parked cars. It was SO cold and my bare legs hanging out of the bottom of my dress simply wouldn't allow me to stop and visit.
I continued on toward the church doors with my family when Carson pipes up, "Mom, you sounded like Grandma just then." I knew it. The thought had already crossed my mind right after I spoke and Carson had just verified my suspicions. I don't know. It was something about my wording and the fact that my mother's voice is kind of shaky and cracks when she tries to talk loudly like, say, across a parking lot and, well, mine does that, too. Anyway, it was almost enough for me to want to look between all the cars calling, "Mama?"
Most of you, ladies, can relate to the fact that your mother's voice can come out of your mouth at any given time and without one minute of advance notice. You don't know how she got in there but you knew, when the words left your tongue, it was her. You could hear it clear as a bell. Your mother's voice projecting from your mouth.....like she was the ventriloquist and you were her little puppet.
I'm not sure how old I was when I first heard her voice replace mine but it's happened on countless occasions. More and more as I get older. Sometimes, it's the choice of words that does it. Other times, it's the whole package....the tone, expression, and delivery and, the first time it happens, well, it can be frightening for a daughter. Not because it's such a bad thing but because you always knew you'd never become your mother.
I suppose it's bound to happen to all of us sooner or later. I mean, is there any other voice you heard more than your mother's during the first 20 years of your life? That kind of repetition has got to have some programming capabilities. You start to sound like her and use her phrases. I thought of some of the things that my Mama told me and some she still tells me. A few of them, I find myself repeating to my children with little evidence to back them up besides, "Your Grandma said".
- You need to eat something with that pill or you'll get ulcers.
- Go dry your hair or you'll get sick.....and put some socks on those cold feet.
- Don't use sponges in your kitchen. They're full of bacteria.
- At least once a week, you need to raise the windows and let fresh air in your house.
- You have to watch them at the grocery store. They have one price on the shelf and charge you another one at the checkout.
- You can pick up all sorts of germs in a filthy public restroom.
- Always take a can of Lysol with you to a hotel.
- One day, I'll be gone and you're going to wish you'd paid attention when I was trying to teach you this.
- If you're bored, I have plenty you can help me do.
- As soon as you get out of a bed, make it up. Do the hospital corners like I taught you.
- Always check the expiration dates at the grocery store. And never get the one in the front. Everyone's touched that one and that's where they put the old stuff.
- Don't drink milk if you have fever.
- Reading in low light will damage your eyes as will sitting too close to the TV.
- You don't want your meringue to look like dog slobber. Beat it until it has firm peaks.
- The dryer is so hard on your stuff- it will just ruin your clothes.
- If you'll just iron a few things a day, it won't pile up like this.
- Always look in your backseat before you get in your car.
- I'm going to close this door so your brothers don't catch what you have.
- Don't forget to tell them you enjoyed it when you get up from the table and that you had a good time when you leave.
- Quit turning that light on and off -you'll start a fire.
- Don't rub your eyes, you'll get wrinkles.
- Turn off that television. I can't hear myself think.
- I don't care what Melissa's mother lets her do.
- One day, you'll have a family of your own and you'll need to know how to do this.
- Never leave your house in a mess when you go somewhere. ( I always felt this was kind of ominous. I suppose it was in case you never returned. Bereaving guests finding out you're not only dead but also a slob would only serve to compound the tragedy)
I'm sure you have a list of your own. Things you've heard your mama say a thousand times and when she starts the sentence, you can finish it for her like a pro and maybe even in her voice and tone, too. Mothers are very influential. They get in our heads and eventually start oozing out of our mouths.
I'm beyond blessed in that department. I could stand to emulate mine more.....not just in the way I sound or the way my voice projects or the sayings I use but in all aspects of my life. My Mama's a beautiful soul. I don't think I've ever met anyone as kind and pure in heart as her. She loves with all of her being......with everything she has to give. And quietly. She wants nothing for herself.....just making someone else's life better is what makes her happy. She's a whole lot like Jesus.
So, I guess if my cracking voice and litany of expressions had to come from someone, I'd definitely want it to be from someone like her. If I ever open my mouth and my mother comes out, I know I'm doing something right.