For years my wedding ring has done its job. It has led me not into temptation. It has reminded my husband numerous times at parties that it's time to go home. It has been a source of relief to a dinner companion. It has been a status symbol in the maternity ward.
Do you know what you call those who use towels and never wash them, eat meals and never do the dishes, sit in rooms they never clean, and are entertained till they drop? If you have just answered, 'A house guest,' you're wrong because I have just described my kids.
Babies should enjoy the freedom to vocalize whether it be in church, a public meeting place, during a movie, or after hours when the lights are out. They have not yet learned that joy and laughter have to last a lifetime and must be conserved.
My mother won't admit it, but I've always been a disappointment to her. Deep down inside, she'll never forgive herself for giving birth to a daughter who refuses to launder aluminium foil and use it over again.
I have never understood, for example, how come a child can climb up on the roof, scale the TV antenna, and rescue the cat ... yet cannot walk down the hallway without grabbing both walls with his grubby hands for balance.
The art of never making a mistake is crucial to motherhood. To be effective and to gain the respect she needs to function, a mother must have her children believe she has never engaged in sex, never made a bad decision, never caused her own mother a moment's anxiety, and was never a child.
Sex in the nineties is boring. The problem is that it has gone from an active act to a spectator sport. We watch people make love on television and in films. We call 900 numbers to hear what someone would do to us if they weren't sitting in a boiler room of other dirty talkers reading from a prepared script.
The family. We are a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms. . . and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.
If I had my life to live over, instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished ever moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
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.
Myths that need clarification: "No matter how many times you see the Grand canyon, you are still emotionally moved to tears." False. It depends on how many children the out-of-towners brought with them who kicked the back of your seat from Phoenix to Flagstaff and got their gum caught in your hair.
Myths that need clarification: "Everyone in California lives on a white, sandy beach." False. The only people who live on California beaches are vacationers from Arizona, Utah, and Nevada who own condos.
It's the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have...One pair that see through closed doors. Another in the back of her head...and, of course, the ones in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and reflect 'I understand and I love you' without so much as uttering a word.
I'm real ambivalent about [working mothers]. Those of use who have been in the women's movement for a long time know that we've talked a good game of "go out and fulfill your dreams" and "be everything you were meant to be." But by the same token, we want daughters-in-law who are going to stay home and raise our grandchildren.
It is ludicrous to read the microwave direction on the boxes of food you buy, as each one will have a disclaimer: THIS WILL VARY WITH YOUR MICROWAVE. Loosely translated, this means, You're on your own, Bernice.
When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they're not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They're upset because they've gone from supervisor of a child's life to a spectator. It's like being the vice president of the United States.
It is upsetting to many parents that their teen-agers introduce them to their friends as encyclopedia salesmen who are just passing through ... if they introduce them at all. I have some acquaintances who hover in dark parking lots, enter church separately and crouch in furnace rooms so their teen-agers will not be accused of having parents.
I don't know when pepper mills in a restaurant got to be right behind frankincense and myrrh in prominence. It used to be in a little jar that sat next to the salt on the table and everyone passed it around, sneezed, and it was no big deal.
You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.
Friends are "annuals" that need seasonal nurturing to bear blossoms. Family is a "perennial" that comes up year after year, enduring the droughts of absence and neglect. There's a place in the garden for both of them.
In Russia, as I sat there day after day wearing headphones, listening to the interpreter struggle to make our words relevant, I wondered if we could establish meaningful rapport with a nation that had never seen raisins dance in dark glasses on TV...never had a garage sale.
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.
Phrases and their actual meanings: My teacher has never liked me. Expect a phone call before lunch from the teacher informing you that your child has been launching hot dogs by compressing them inside a small Thermos and then removing the lid quickly.
Occasionally, once a speaker is on his feet, it is difficult to get him to sit down. ... If and when he returns to earth, he notices half of the room is paging the other half and a few are playing with the melted candles.
The more I think about it, the more there is to be said for the sloth. He sleeps fifteen to eighteen hours a day and is known to have taken forty-eight days to travel four miles. He hangs in the trees after he's dead. But he lives longer than the cheetah.
Kids have little computer bodies with disks that store information. They remember who had to do the dishes the last time you had spaghetti, who lost the knob off the TV set six years ago, who got punished for teasing the dog when he wasn't teasing the dog and who had to wear girls boots the last time it snowed.
Kids are without a doubt the most suspicious diners in the world. They will eat mud (raw or baked) rocks, paste, crayons, ball-point pens, moving goldfish, cigarette butts, and cat food. Try to coax a little beef stew into their mouths and they look at you like a puppy when you stand over him with the Sunday paper rolled up.
Making coffee has become the great compromise of the decade. It's the only thing "real" men do that doesn't seem to threaten their masculinity. To women, it's on the same domestic entry level as putting the spring back into the toilet-tissue holder or taking a chicken out of the freezer to thaw.
When they told me I needed a mastectomy, I thought of the thousands of luncheons and dinners I had attended where they slapped a name tag on my left bosom. I always smiled and said, 'Now, what shall we name the other one?' That would no longer be a problem.
The age of your children is a key factor in how quickly you are served in a restaurant. We once had a waiter in Canada who said, "Could I get you your check?" and we answered, "How about the menu first?"
People are always asking couples whose marriage has endured at least a quarter of a century for their secret for success. Actually, it is no secret at all. I am a forgiving woman. Long ago, I forgave my husband for not being Paul Newman.
A friend doesn't go on a diet because you are fat. A friend never defends a husband who gets his wife an electric skillet for her birthday. A friend will tell you she saw your old boyfriend -- and he's a priest.
I was a closet pacifier advocate. So were most of my friends. Unknown to our mothers, we owned thirty or forty of those little suckers that were placed strategically around the house so a cry could be silenced in less than thirty seconds. Even though bottles were boiled, rooms disinfected, and germs fought one on one, no one seemed to care where the pacifier had been.
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.
Not everyone is comfortable with the kissing ritual. My husband is one of them. Her refuses to press lips with anyone except his wife, mother, and dog. If someone wanted to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, he would refuse until he had been formally introduced.
With girls, everything looks great on the surface. But beware of drawers that won't open. They contain a three-month supply of dirty underwear, unwashed hose, and rubber bands with blobs of hair in them.
When it comes to cooking, five years ago I felt guilty "just adding water." Now I want to bang the tube against the countertop and have a five-course meal pop out. If it comes with plastic silverware and a plate that self-destructs, all the better.
Given another shot at life, I would seize every minute...look at it and really see it... live it...and never give it back. Stop sweating the small stuff. Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what. Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.
Everyone is guilty at one time or another of throwing out questions that beg to be ignored, but mothers seem to have a market on the supply. "Do you want a spanking or do you want to go to bed?" Don't you want to save some of the pizza for your brother?" Wasn't there any change?