I've just arrived in Florida. My parents lived here for 15 years after they retired, and so it got me thinknig about my mother.
I've argued before, and I stand by my position, that we'd all be better off if we had just done what our mothers told us to do -- no questions asked. Because who, besides our mothers, has nothing but our best interests at heart? Sure, our dads love us. But they have an ulterior motive. They want us to succeed, make them proud. Our mothers just want us to be happy.
My mother was not the overbearing type. She instead was rather cool and detached, perhaps because she had four kids and didn't have the time or resources to give a lot of individual attention to any of us. She instead fell back on a lot of sayings that she, no doubt, got from her mother.
For example, she believed in addressing problems head on, and not letting them linger. So a favorite saying of hers was: A stitch in time saves nine.
She also warned us what would happen if we didn't face up to things. We'd be: Up a creek without a paddle.
But she knew all matters didn't necessarily proceed as fast as people, especially children, want. And so she also counseled patience and reminded us: Rome wasn't built in a day.
When I got older, into my teens, she was appalled at the clothes I wore. And more than once as I left college and went out into the world she reminded me: The clothes make the man.
And I'd be more successful if I didn't sit around and engage in idle chat, for: He who gossips with you will gossip about you. Or, another way she'd say it: Mind your p's and q's.
And whenever we did anything, she thought, we should do it right. Or: Cross your t's and dot your i's.
Not bad advice. I wish I'd taken more of it. So . . . what did your mother tell you?