Wednesday, May 4, 2011

To My Daughters, for Mother's Day

I stole the idea for this from Tina Fey's Bossypants. It is culled from my many years of wisdom (well, mostly just from this last week) and contains advice and other things I want to make sure I pass on to my girls. (If you write your own and send it to me, maybe I can pick out the best parts and post them in a future blog. I might even give you credit.)

An Open Letter to My Daughters, on Mother's Day

- Never put white floors in your kitchen. Why do people even sell white flooring? Do they not know about gravity?

- Cooked broccoli and pasta are not finger foods. The fork is a truly wonderful piece of technology. One day, when you marry a prince, it will not only be because you are beautiful, but also funny and smart, and because you know your table manners.

- When you are a mom, work if you want to. Or don’t work if you can afford it and don’t want to. The point is not to obsess over that decision. But if you’re not going to be a mom, and you’re an adult, then for pete’s sake, work (or go to school). Work is as natural as playing or resting, and you can make good friends there. Plus, it’s good to use your brain for something. But most importantly, work because I’ll be damned if you think I’m going to let my adult child live under my roof sleeping in tiil noon every day and watching The Price is Right.

- If your house is too clean, your kids might get asthma. Or something. I read this somewhere, and I don’t have an exact source, but I’m sticking with it.

- You don’t have to play soccer to make me happy. Just do something you love to do, and don’t resent it that I played soccer so often. Whatever you choose, I want you to know the great joy of doing something fun in the sunshine with your friends. My only rule: the thing you love cannot be injecting heroin.

- I realize that taking off your socks at the end of the day can be a wonderful feeling, but do not leave those socks just anywhere. Take the two seconds to put them in the laundry. Even one day when you are Prime Minister and debating serious issues in the House of Commons, if you get the urge to remove your socks right then and there, it’s fine, but do not just leave them there by that thingy that looks like a throne. Put them in the dirty laundry basket in the corner and your elderly manservant Stephen Harper can wash them later.

- Don’t remember me as that lazy mom. Lazy is such a subjective word. Remember all those times that we lay in bed together that I wasn’t just being lazy-- we were having a lot of laughs.

- When you are a teenager and you are crying inconsolably about something, do not go look at yourself in the mirror, because the drama of your crying will just make you cry harder. You can stay in the bathroom if you want, but instead of crying, shove kleenexes up each nostril and leave them there. Then practice teaching yourself to raise one eyebrow at a time. This skill will come in handy later in life, when you are a mom and your own kids try to get some questionable stuff past you. How do you think I learned how to do that?

- Lately, you both seem to be losing your pants a lot. How does one lose pants? Please, please, don’t keep this up. When you are a teenager or young adult and are having so much fun that you actually lose your pants, have the wisdom to know that you have gone too far.


  1. Giggling away at the pantsless nieces...

    Maybe you should encourage them to wear many, many, many pairs of socks & never take them off? That way they won't be able to remove & lose their pants (and they can wear your old shoes sooner, giving you the excuse to acquire more!)

  2. Rebecca HarrisonMay 4, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    i love it Cathy! Thanks for a great night out with you and Steve!

  3. So love your advice about not obsessing about the decision to work or not. I still continue to struggle.

  4. Hilarious! I LOVED it. What joy I receive from reading your witty and hilarious thoughts. Geeta