My mother knows best
April E. Clark
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
I don’t care what they thought in the 1950s. In my opinion, mothers know best.
At least that’s the case with my mom.
Dian celebrated a birthday Friday, and after talking on her big day I realized how much she has influenced me. Of course I could never be convinced of that in my early teen years. If memory serves me right, I was nothing short of a know-it-all smart aleck. Not so much in the comically clever, Chevy-Chase-in-“Fletch” kind of way. More like the hormone-ravaged, I’m-hot-stuff kind of attitude.
I’m sure that was fun for Dian for about 60 seconds.
My mother always taught me I could do anything if I put my mind to it. She never put herself before her kids, which seems to be a thing lately as people become more self-involved.
Maybe all that reality TV has seriously gone to our heads.
To be honest, parenting scares me like a missed period. So when my time actually comes to pass on what my momma taught me, I want to do it right. I’ll try my best to follow Dian’s lead with these guidelines:
• Be nice. Even if you’re having a bad day. People who meet my mother always say she’s the nicest lady they’ve ever met. And I’m being serious. She really is. Who wants to go through life being mean all the time? I know this idea can be difficult when traffic is as frustrating as fitting into skinny jeans. But wouldn’t we all feel better with more sugar and less vinegar? That reminds me of a Def Leppard song. Let the sugar pour.
• Travel, and travel often. My parents have been coming out west way longer than when I decided it would be cool to move to Colorado. Two of my mom’s favorite spots are Glenwood Springs and Taos, New Mexico. I imagine she’s secretly stuck in the same energy vortex as I, inexplicably drawn to the west’s free-spirited ways. In another life we might have been fearless homesteaders or gender-defying gunslingers. Or maybe we were mother-daughter saloon girls. I just made her blush.
• Work hard. My mom is no slacker. It’s a McAnany thing; evident from the way my mom’s 83-year-old Irish father still works and doesn’t seem to be slowing down one bit. He’d be the first to tell you people don’t get very far being lazy. The best part about working hard is I can play hard, too. A softball doubleheader is my limit, though.
• Never mistake a woman for pregnant if she’s not. Unless she’s your best friend, sister, or screaming out obscenities as she’s going into labor. My mom made the mistake – once and only once – of asking someone when she was due. The answer not only embarrassed her terribly, but she truly felt horrible about the mistake. This was the best advice I could ever receive. Now if only those baby doll dresses and tops would go out of style, this type of thing wouldn’t happen.
• Appreciate true friends. My mom has been close to her best friend, Kathie, since the 1960s. They still get together, when schedules allow, and laugh about silly stuff, aka boys, aka their husbands of 30-something years. It just so happens that their oldest daughters both live in Colorado, and now they have more in common than they ever did. I just need to work on making her a grandma like Kathie. Second to my mom, Kathie is the sweetest woman in the world. Probably not a coincidence they’re still BFFs 40-odd years later. That’s true friendship.
• Respect all living beings. My parents are huge animal lovers, so it’s no surprise I have a soft spot for all God’s creatures. I’m slowly coming around on the snakes and spiders part of that equation. My mom has been through it all with my dad, even riding in the car with a snake in her lap as they brought it home from Florida. She won’t pick up a tarantula, though, if it escapes. Sometimes nice has its limits.
April E. Clark has made life-long friendships in Glenwood Springs and one of them is with the one-and-only Rob Tramazzo. Until we meet again, RobT. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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