The mother and I argue. A lot.
Part of it is that we’re birds of a feather. We’re both strong-willed and determined to be right.
Part of it is that I’m slow to learn to pick my battles. Even when I am right, I need to just shut up.
And part of it, and this is the part that I hate the most, much of the time, she IS just right.
· The mother started early in priming me for college. She did this so well, in fact, that in kindergarten, I boldly asked, “Can I skip the rest of it and just go to college now?” (The poor mother. I wasn’t precocious or anything. *removing tongue from cheek*)
· In eighth grade, she announced that I had to “go take this test” one Saturday morning so that I could attend and all-girl Catholic school. WHAT?! My head nearly exploded. I begrudgingly took the test – thought seriously about blowing it on purpose, but reminded myself of what the consequences would be and aced it. Not only did I get a great college prep education, I made seven of the best friends that anyone could ever ask for. The mother was SO right on this one!
· I always knew I’d really stepped in it when she cited me the Golden Rule. “Would you want someone to do that to you? I don’t think so.”
· In the first few weeks of my longest relationship, the mother called it. “There’s something there that I just don’t like. I just know that he’s going to be trouble for you.” (It took me a decade to finally figure that one out, but again, she was right.)
· Occasionally, she’ll still zing me with one of Young Tom’s (her father’s) lines and I know that this wisdom is truly genetic. “Figures don’t lie – but liars figure.” “A fool and his money are soon parted.” “Don’t cry over spilt milk. Get back on the stool and milk some more.”
· Always care for creatures. This was something the mother instilled early and often both in word and by example. (And why the four-footed family members are more spoiled than any fur-free child ever could be.) But the love you get is worth it – without the expense of car insurance, college, and weddings.
So, as hard as it is, I’m conceding that she is usually right. That’s why she’s the mother. I can't think of a harder job.
Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and all the moms, and moms-to-be, out there!