by Denise Davidson
“Don’t go outside with wet hair, or you’ll catch a cold!” A hot lunch is much better for you than a cold one.” Don’t cross your eyes, or they’ll stick that way!” Growing up, I had heard my mother utter “momisms” such as these many times. But when I became a mother, I vowed to never use one of my mother’s momisms on my children. After all, I’d never enjoyed hearing them, so why should I subject my kids to the same clichés?
Don’t get me wrong. I have a wonderful mother, I just wanted to be a better one. I was going to be everything she wasn’t. I would be super mom, confidante and hero! No, I was not going to become my mother. I would be different. I would be my children’s best friend. Never would they hear me say they couldn’t swim until 30 minutes after they ate. Never would they be forced to wear clothing that was passed down from their siblings. No, I was definitely not going to become my mother.
Then it happened. On a cold, wet day my son, Robby, was running around the house after his shower trying to get ready for school.
“Don’t go outside with wet hair,” I heard myself say, as I reached for the hair dryer. “And stop crossing your eyes like that or they’ll stay that way!” As I ushered my son out the door to the bus stop, I paused and thought, Surely I hadn’t just used the same momisms on my child as my mother had on me! What on earth had come over me?
And then it hit me. For 21 years I had listened to my mother’s momisms on a daily basis. It would be almost impossible for me to not use one or two of them now. I smiled as I walked back into the house, with thoughts of my mother in my head.
“You forgot your lunch money!” I called as I grabbed the money off the table and ran to the bus stop.
“Why can’t you just pack your lunch?” I heard another boy ask Robby as they started to get on the bus.
“Well, you know what Mom always says,” Robby said with crossed eyes, “A hot lunch is much better for you than a cold one!”
Denise Davidson is mom to Robert (11) and Julia (8) and lives at Dyess AFB, Texas.