Moms (and Insanity)

Sunday HeatYesterday I managed to avoid turning on the A/C, although it was borderline most of the day. At one point I looked at the thermometer, and it was 82.  “One more degree,” I thought, “And the A/C comes on.”  In fact, it did hit 83, but either I’d acclimated to the humidity or it had dried out a little, so I resisted the temptation.

Today, not even noon, and it’s already 81, so I’ve given in completely to sweet temptation. (Fortunately, I have considerable experience giving in to temptation.  I am, in fact, a certified professional with special safety equipment and am operating on a closed course.  Do not try this at home or without expert support.)

For your Sunday enjoyment, I have a few last items from my cache…

happy mom dayThis first one would have been fun to post back on Mother’s Day.  I’m not big on what I consider to be made up holidays, so I tend to ignore all those “special” days dedicated to one group or another. One should always treat Mothers, Fathers, Sweethearts, Firefighters, Veterans, Law Enforcement Officers, Teachers (et many al.) with the respect they’ve earned and deserve. It shouldn’t be necessary to have a special day to draw your attention to these people who are so instrumental in life.

[Do you note there is no Politician’s Day?  Same reason there’s no Felonious Assault Day.]

Ironically, I had hoped to post something about my own mom this past Mother’s Day, but May and June were so crazy at work I did very little blogging (due to the Big Project and my impending retirement).

Super Mom

I never did figure out where she hid her cape and costume.

But for the record, my mom is an amazing and wonderful woman. I know most kids think that about their mom, but I have hard evidence! My mom, a gentle, soft-spoken first-generation Midwestern American (born to Norwegian immigrant parents) was a music teacher.  One consequence of that was that I learned to play (piano) at a very early age (I cannot remember a time in my past when I didn’t play).  Music turned out to be a hugely significant part of my life.  My one real regret in life is not pursuing it (although I’ve never been sure I really had the talent for it).

What’s incredible is that this gentle woman spent many years teaching music to grade school kids in the Los Angeles suburb of Watts. In the 70s and 80s.  If you know much about LA in those days, that’s pretty awesome!  (My dad, the Lutheran pastor, was also much focused on the problems and needs of what is euphemistically called “the inner city.”  These days the code word is “urban.”  Basically, both dad and mom were oriented towards helping where help was most needed.  And they aren’t the only teachers and preachers in my family tree.  The concept of service is ingrained in our wood.)

(Not my actual mom, but not far off, either!)

(Not my actual mom, but not all that far off, either!)

My mom is awesome.  So was dad.  (He’s deep into Alzheimer’s and probably on his final laps now.  Mom is still sharp as a tack, though. We chat by phone every week.)  I was lucky to be brought up with a lot of love and with some very strong ideas about Right and Wrong.  (I was adopted, and apparently blood will tell sometimes.  No one else in my family is an über-Geek like me.  My poor parents worked hard trying to find things to engage me. (And did pretty well, actually—they enabled me to pursue interest after interest seeking out the ones that “lit me up.”))

Anyway,  here’s a cute little piece in honor of Moms everywhere, but especially mine:

The following are different answers given by school-age children to the given question:

Why did God make mothers?

  1. She’s the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
  2. Think about it, it was the best way to get more people.
  3. Mostly to clean the house.
  4. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?

  1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
  2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
  3. God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?

  1. We’re related.
  2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people’s moms like me.

What ingredients are mothers made of?

  1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
  2. They had to get their start from men’s bones. Then they mostly use string. I think.

What kind of little girl was your mom?

  1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
  2. I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
  3. They say she used to be nice.

How did your mom meet your dad?

  1. Mom was working in a store and dad was shoplifting.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?

  1. His last name.
  2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer? Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores.

Why did your mom marry your dad?

  1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot.
  2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
  3. My grandma says that mom didn’t have her thinking cap on.

What makes a real woman?

  1. It means you have to be really bossy without looking bossy.

Who’s the boss at your house?

  1. Mom doesn’t want to be boss, but she has to because dads such a goofball.
  2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
  3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What’s the difference between moms and dads?

  1. Moms work at work and work at home, and dads just got to work at work.
  2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
  3. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power ’cause that’s who you gotta ask if you want to sleep over at your friend’s.

What does your mom do in her spare time?

  1. Mothers don’t do spare time.
  2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What’s the difference between moms and grandmas?

  1. About 30 years.
  2. You can always count on grandmothers for candy.

Describe the world’s greatest mom?

  1. She would make broccoli taste like ice cream!
  2. The greatest mom in the world wouldn’t make me kiss my fat aunts!
  3. She’d always be smiling and keep her opinions to herself.

Is anything about your mom perfect?

  1. Her teeth are perfect, but she bought them from the dentist.
  2. Her casserole recipes. But we hate them.

But wait! There’s more!!

insane momOpinions vary about insanity. It seems hereditary. Parents are pretty sure they get it from their kids, while the kids are certain it comes from parents. Chances are, both are correct! Family life is just an insane proposition!

So whether you’re an insane parent or an insane child, here’s a list about how to maintain a healthy level of insanity. A little break from straight-laced rationality!

20 Ways To Maintain A Healthy Level Of Insanity

  1. At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.
  2. Page yourself over the intercom. Don’t disguise your voice.
  3. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.
  4. Put your garbage can on your desk and label it “IN”.
  5. Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks . Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to Espresso.
  6. In the memo field of all your checks, write For smuggling diamonds”.
  7. Finish all your sentences with “In accordance with the prophecy”.
  8. Don’t use any punctuation.
  9. As often as possible, skip rather than walk.
  10. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.
  11. Specify that your drive-through order is “To Go”.
  12. Sing along at the opera.
  13. Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don’t rhyme?
  14. Put mosquito netting around your work area and play tropical sounds all day.
  15. Five days in advance, tell your friends you can’t attend their party because you’re not in the mood.
  16. Have your co-workers address you by your wrestling name, Rock Bottom.
  17. When the money comes out of the ATM, scream “I Won! I Won!”
  18. When leaving the Zoo, start running towards the parking lot, yelling “Run for your lives! They’re loose!”
  19. Tell your children over dinner, “Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go.”

Enjoy your Sunday! And for those of you headed back to the work-a-day world tomorrow, may I just say, “Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha….

(p.s. Another way to create insanity is to make a 20-item list with only 19 items!  It’s like the two important keys to success.  #1. Don’t tell everyone everything you know.)

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

7 responses to “Moms (and Insanity)

  • Lady from Manila

    Reading the “Insanity” list is the best way to start off my weekend. So wacky :-). Thank you.
    How about a vlog for us here someday soon to watch and hear you play your music?
    I did my best to instill that art in my son’s life by enrolling him in both piano and guitar classes in his earlier years. He showed some talent, but much to my heartbreak, he wouldn’t want to pursue a career in it. I’ve always believed “Maths and Science are the tools for living, while Music and the Arts are the reasons for living.”

    • Wyrd Smythe

      I’m afraid my troll-like aspect would break the camera. Mothers would shield their children’s eyes, and strong men would weep and snarl.

      If I ever do get back into creating music, that I probably will post here. That’s pretty far down the list of projects, though. (I keep looking at my keyboard, which is in my “storage” room, and thinking I should drag it out and start getting into it again. It’s been many years since I played.)

      I’d agree with your tools and reasons! Totally!!

  • reocochran

    Very nicely written. I like that she was unafraid in an era that was quite rebellious, Wyrd. You have shown quality often when you write about someone you care about and subjects that are of interest to you. Yes, mothers are irritating and annoying but you found some good qualities along the way… Smiles, Robin

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Well, thank you, Robin. I’m pretty sure I made them just as (or more) crazy as they made me. But there was always love and regard. I was also always a little in awe of their purpose and accomplishments. In their early days (early 50s) they studied Chinese with the idea of being missionaries in China, but the communists rose to power there. They sometimes used their Chinese (or Norwegian) to talk privately in front of us kids.

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