Friday, May 7, 2010

Erma Bombeck on Motherhood

I have always enjoyed the writings of Erma Bombeck.  My husband bought me When You Look Like Your Passport Picture it's Time to Go Home.  I literally laughed hysterically by myself on the couch one night as I read it.  By myself.  My family looked at me in wonder as I don't normally do that.  She is that funny.

She has some things to say about motherhood that might bring a Friday chuckle.

Somewhere it is written that parents who are critical of other people's children and publicly admit they can do better are asking for it.

Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.

I love my mother for all the times she said absolutely nothing. . . . Thinking back on it all, it must have been the most difficult part of mothering she ever had to do: knowing the outcome, yet feeling she had no right to keep me from charting my own path. I thank her for all her virtues, but mostly for never once having said, "I told you so."

I have always felt that too much time was given before the birth, which is spent learning things like how to breathe in and out with your husband (I had my baby when they gave you a shot in the hip and you didn't wake up until the kid was ready to start school), and not enough time given to how to mother after the baby is born.

With boys you always know where you stand. Right in the path of a hurricane. It's all there. The fruit flies hovering over their waste can, the hamster trying to escape to cleaner air, the bedrooms decorated in Early Bus Station Restroom.

Mothers are not the nameless, faceless stereotypes who appear once a year on a greeting card with their virtues set to prose, but women who have been dealt a hand for life and play each card one at a time the best way they know how. No mother is all good or all bad, all laughing or all serious, all loving or all angry. Ambivalence rushes through their veins.

And the best one:
There will be other Mother's Days and a parade of gifts that will astound and amaze you, but not one of them will ever measure up to the sound of your children in the kitchen on Mother's Day whispering, "Don't you dare bleed on Mom's breakfast."

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