Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mothers: They Deserve an Increase in Their Allowance

Mothers deserve generous allowances. I'm not talking about a stipend to spend on purses and shoes, although that isn't a bad idea. I'm suggesting mothers should be "allowed" to do certain things simply because they are mothers.

Mothers are allowed to think about their children almost constantly, whether those children are 2 or 22. We can't help it. We will always wonder where you are, what you're doing, if you're safe, if you're happy, . . . It's not always worry, it's just thinking, wondering, hoping. And praying.

Mothers are allowed to hug at will. I understand this can be awkward for 17-year-old boys, so sometimes we mothers learn to control the urge in certain circumstances. One way children can help mothers control this urge is to occasionally initiate the hug themselves. Mothers will never be embarrassed by a hug. Ever. Ever.

Mothers are allowed to correct their children. Rudeness is offensive to mothers, and mothers will do what they can to stop it. Even if the person being rude isn't their own child. It's kind of a reflex. So watch it.

Mothers are allowed to make their children do chores. It's part of that whole "making you a better person" deal that mothers sign up for. Mothers also have the right to expect those chores to be done well, and without complaining. So just do it that way.

Mothers are allowed to call their children by a variety of names. They may use the name they decided to put on your birth certificate, or they may use "Sweetie," "Honey," "Peanut," "Buddy," "Snickerdoodle," or any variety thereof. They might also call you a name they decided to put on your sibling's birth certificate, or combined syllables of various names. Please respond to whatever name they use.  Don't complain if your mother wants to call you something besides the name everybody else uses. She's your mom. She's allowed.

Mothers are allowed to make you eat things you don't like. It will make you a healthier person and a better human being. Someday, when your new mother-in-law serves brussel sprouts, you'll impress the socks off her when you ask for seconds.

Mothers are allowed to think their children are beautiful. If your mother tells you you're pretty or handsome, don't respond with, "You have to say that; you're my mother." Just say "Thank you, Mom," and engage in hug initiation. Be grateful there is someone in this world that thinks you're beautiful. And smart, and talented, clever, funny, . . .

Mothers are allowed to be their child's perpetual driver's ed instructor. Not that they should always exercise this right, but on occasion it will be necessary. Sometimes we'll use subtle non-verbal cues such as gripping the dashboard or stomping on the imaginary passenger side brake pedal to communicate "slow down" or "you are following too closely." But, on occasion, we will just have to use our words and say what is necessary to make you a better driver. It's for your good, you know. And the protection of mankind.

Mothers are always allowed to cry. They probably cried when they first saw you, and it becomes somewhat uncontrollable from that point on. They will cry when you get shots at the doctor's office, when you start your first day of school, at your elementary band concert, at track meets, when you go to prom, when you graduate high school. And when you leave for college. Don't worry about it. It's just what moms do. If they somehow manage to hold back the tears it could, well, I don't know what might happen because I've never been able to do it.

Mothers are allowed to embarrass their children now and then. If they cheer like a howler monkey at the soccer game, if they shed the aforementioned tears at your junior high play, if they take video of your science fair presentation, just pretend you like it. Besides, you know you do.

The list of allowances could go on. But just remember this overarching principle: You need to give your mom generous allowances because nobody is going to love you more than she does. She'll love you even when you fail, make bad choices, disappoint her, anger or frustrate her. Yes, she might overstep her bounds now and then, and she might do something embarrassing. But just smile and engage in hug initiation. She'll never turn down a hug. Ever.


© Rebecca K. Grosenbach;