A mother lode of wisdom …

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THERE’S a Mother’s Day celebration somewhere in the world nearly every month. In the UK, it’s this Sunday, April 3. In most of Europe and North America it’s in May. In Thailand and Costa Rica in August. In Argentina in October and in Panama and Indonesia in December.

Whatever its date, though, there are things only a Mother can teach. For instance, it’s she who instructs us about the art of ANTICIPATION: “Just wait till your father gets home!” And of RECEIVING: “You’re going to get it when we get home!”
About HOW TO MEET A CHALLENGE: “Answer me when I talk to you. Don’t talk back to me!” And the subtleties of LOGIC: “Because I said so, that’s why.”

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Not to mention the intricacies of MEDICAL SCIENCE: “If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they’re going to freeze that way.” HUMOUR: “When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.” GENETICS: “You’re just like your father.” FORESIGHT: “Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re run over by a bus.” Our ROOTS: “Do you think you were born in a barn?” And the WISDOM OF AGE: “When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

A favourite lesson too is JUSTICE: “One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you. Then you’ll see what it’s like.” The WEATHER: “It looks as if a tornado’s swept through your room.” RELIGION: “You’d better pray that will come out of the carpet.” And, long before any of us watched Dr Who, TIME TRAVEL: “If you don’t shape up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

Science is on the timetable years before we study it at school – the science of OSMOSIS: “Shut your mouth and eat your supper!”


THE CIRCLE OF LIFE is another philosophical conundrum she imparts: “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.” Just like BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION: “Stop acting like your father!” And ENVY: “There are millions less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do!”

How can we begin to thank our Mothers for all these invaluable insights? When I was a kid, and kicking up a foul-mouthed rumpus, she would say, “If you haven’t got anything nice to say, then why don’t you say nothing at all?” Imagine if I had listened to her then. Where would I be now?

Nora Johnson’s novel, The De Clerambault Code (www.nora-johnson.com) available at Amazon. Profits to Cudeca



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