It’s part of the tradition of being a parent to bequeath pearls of wisdom, bits and pieces of advice, passed from mother to child like cherished family histories, or a treasured necklace created bead by bead, one lifetime to another. Oft repeated until each generation can recite by rote, fingering a bead with every spoken gem.
Even as the ancient wisdom is channeled thru the matriarchal bloodline, new mothers are challenged with the task of adding more pages to the history. My fondest hope is to one day hear my children quoting their ancestral litany to their own offspring:
“That’s not fair…” Of course it’s not fair, you’re a kid. I never promised you fair.
“But everyone else is doing it…” Don’t tell me what your friends get away with, ‘everyone else’ isn’t my kid. Or equally appropriate: Do I look like I care?
“But mommm…” Don’t whine! It will get you nowhere!
“Why can’t I…” Because in this house, I AM GOD, and I said ‘No!’ (when saying, ‘because I said so’ for the umpteenth time isn’t enough.)
“Can you turn on the radio?” Sure, I can turn it on
“Will you turn on the radio?” Sure, I’ll turn it on (pushing the ‘on’ button without volume)
“Can you turn it up?” Sure, I can
“WILL YOU TURN ON THE RADIO, AND ADJUST THE VOLUME TO THE OPTIMAL LISTENING SETTING?” Of course, you need to say what you mean.
“I need a new phone. I can’t text with this one, or take photos. It doesn’t work good.” Your phone doesn’t work ‘well.’ (no further discussion.)
*Unlike the pearl inscribed here with chalk on slate, my mother did not impart advice concerning the proper consumption of spirits. Her idea of hard drinking was to partake of an entire bottle of Bartles & Jaymes Exotic Berry wine cooler… on an empty stomach. I resolved on my own not to do this, ever.