LOVE AND FAMILY
Our Mothers Are Always Right
Let me begin by saying I have two very excellent parents. My dad is the tops, and I’ll write a story about him soon. However, as we inch into Women’s History Month — and International Women’s Day — I’m thinking about every boy’s first love: his mumsie.
And like every other son on the planet, I have the best mom in the world.
One of the best things about my mom is that she raised a take-no-shit son — two of them, actually. This has done wonders for me over the last ~40 years, and it’s also gotten me into some trouble with bosses, especially ones who expect their employees to take shit. Whattayagonnado?
She’s also never, ever wrong, especially about the big things. Following most of my major life decisions, I can look back with great confidence and say it was her guidance that put me on the right path, even (and especially) when I disagreed with her.
She’s the world’s wisest woman who, at barely five-feet tall, is a towering personality who can bend the will of the world around her fierce kindness.
My mom has a lot of catch phrases. One of her favorites is, “Life is good.” She says it often when the family is all together, irrespective of what we’re doing or what we’re going through. I’ve always interpreted this phrase to mean, “It could always be worse.” As if, when you’re with your people, the universe is balanced, irrespective of whatever junk you may be going through. (She also loves the beach, and “life is good” is a great beach saying.)
Another of her more-recent phrases is this one:
“Life is simple. It’s people who make it difficult.”
Clearly, my mom likes phrases about life.
This one used to drive me nuts, but over time I’ve come to say it in the back of my mind like a Zen mantra. In 2020 when she and my dad got trapped with my wife and me at the start of the pandemic, we navigated some fun (interesting) conversations about how we do things differently — loading the dishwasher, purchasing the wrong color bath towels, and so on.
Whenever we would get fussy about one of those things (which seemed important at the time) there would be my mom in the background, “See how simple life is? It’s people like you who make it difficult.”
I believe there are words behind her words, and (to me) what she really means is, “This is a small thing in the grand scheme of life, let it go.” And like everything else she’s ever taught me, this is one for the books.
I have an admittedly hard time letting things go — I’m a ruminator. But I’m working on it, and mom’s excellent aphorism helps me get there little by little.
So let’s all listen to mom. She knows best for a reason.