Spirituality for Today – May 2008 – Volume 12, Issue 10

Out of the Mouths of Mothers Comes Wisdom

By Rev. Msgr. Frank Wissel

A photo of a mother with her daugther on her backMy Brooklyn-born, 5 foot 1 Irish mother would be known today as the mistress of "the no-spin zone." Her parents, born in County Cork, Ireland, taught her well and so she decided to do the same with her children.

We know who invented guilt. My mother perfected it. If anything was enjoyable, according to my mother it was sinful. If you went to Mass on Sunday after 9 a.m. you were considered a "lazy bum." She taught me many things as I'm sure the readers' mothers taught them. Allow me to share a few.

  1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
    "If you are going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."
  2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
    "You better pray that will come out of the carpet."
  3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
    "If you don't straighten up, I'm gonna knock you into the middle of next week!"
  4. My mother taught me LOGIC.
    "Because I said so, that's why."
  5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
    "If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."
  6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT
    "Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."
  7. My mother taught me IRONY.
    "Keep crying and I'll give you something to cry about."
  8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
    "Shut your mouth and eat your supper."
  9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
    "Will you look at the dirt on the back of your neck."
  10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
    "You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."
  11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
    "This room of yours looks like a tornado went through it."
  12. My mother taught me about HIPOCRISY.
    "If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"
  13. My mother taught me about the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
    "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."
  14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
    "Stop acting like your father!"
  15. My mother taught me about ENVY.
    "There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."
  16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
    "Just wait until we get home!"
  17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
    "You're going to get it when you get home."
  18. My mother taught me about MEDICAL SCIENCE.
    "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way."
  19. My mother taught me ESP.
    "Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you're cold?"
  20. My mother taught me HUMOR.
    "When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."
  21. My mother taught me HOW TO BE BECOME AN ADULT.
    "If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."
  22. My mother taught me GENETICS.
    "You're just like you father."
  23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
    "Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"
  24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
    "When you get to be my age, you'll understand."
  25. My mother taught me about JUSTICE.
    "One day you'll have your own kids, and I hope they torture you the way you tortured me."

Innocence of a Child – A Bonus Laugh

One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex standing in the foyer of the church staring up at a large plaque. It was covered with names and small American flags mounted on the wall. The seven-year-old stared at the plaque for some time.

The pastor said quietly to the boy, "Good morning, Alex."

"Good morning, Pastor," he replied, still focused on the plaque. "Pastor, what is this?" he asked.

The pastor said, "Well, son, it's a memorial to all the young men who died in the service."

Soberly, they just stood together, staring at the large plaque. Finally, little Alex's voice, barely audible and trembling with fear, said to the pastor, "Which service, the 9:45 or the 11:15?"

Mothers and kids – aren't they funny sometimes?