When you think of your mother or father, what sayings come to mind?
For me, it’s my mother: “It’s a beautiful day. Get outside.”
I grew up on a farm, so outside for us meant playing games of hide-and-seek in and around the trees of the woodlot, swinging on homemade swings hung from the rafters of the barn, or skating on the frozen creek in winter. To this day, I can’t abide being indoors on a beautiful day, so my mother’s words served me well.
A person I follow on Twitter asked this question and got some interesting responses. My favourite: “If cows shit butter, you wouldn’t have to churn it.”
My mother would never have used those words, but she made the same point in other ways more times that I could count.
As parents we live day to day, tackling challenges as they come. We don’t realize there will be a through-line to our actions, that someday our children will attach an overall theme to how we tackled the parenthood job.
It made me wonder, how would my children answer that question, so I asked my daughter. I was hoping for, “Be kind,” or “Honour yourself and always be creative,” or “Don’t ever make yourself small to try please someone else.”
When I asked my daughter, she thought for a lo-o-o-ong time. “I don’t think you use sayings.”
“Oh, great. I’m boring,” I said.
“No, if anything it means that you really think before you say something,” she said.
I can live with that.