In a recent blog, I wrote about my son’s view that I’d failed him because I’d given him everything.
It’s not exactly a great conversation starter to have with your mom — especially when you’re still living with her.
But sometimes kids say the darndest things, right?
Art Linkletter made a living out of it.
You’re not the boss of me, now can I please have twenty bucks?
Have you lost weight? It’s great you’re not fat anymore.
Haven’t you had enough wine?
Each one of us, I’m sure, has been guilty of saying something bone-headed to mom.
I am no exception.
I remember vividly sitting drinking with my mother, and she was crying, lamenting how sorry her life had become, how she had indeed given up everything to keep my two brothers and myself alive, in school, and in cash.
There we were sitting in my opulent kitchen, which was about the size of her apartment, and I remember saying this.
Don’t be sad, mother. You should be proud. You raised three great, successful and happy kids.
I thought Vera was going to reach across the table and rip my heart out.
It wasn’t my very best moment.
What I said was smarmy and insensitive.
And I regret it, as much as I regret saying this upon seeing my mother with a ventilator in her mouth.
Oh, mother, my God, you look like ET.
I didn’t mean it. I was in shock.
I always say inappropriate things to people; that’s why I never go out in public. I say them because I’m nervous.
I’m sure my mother forgave me. At least I hope she forgave me.
I realized that running-mouth-with-foot-inserted runs in the family.
It’s a cautionary tale as we approach Mother’s Day.
So don’t say the following to your mother:
- Are you going to wear that to the restaurant?
- Here, mom, let me pay for a makeover.
- Remember the time Wayne called you “the town drunk”. Wasn’t that hilarious?
- Hey, mom, we’re going to visit (insert husband’s mom’s name here). Would you mind babysitting?
- I’d like to buy your flowers for Mother’s Day, mom, but I’m tapped out. Can you lend me a few bucks?
And my personal favorite: what are we having for dinner on Mother’s Day?
Do me a favor, children of the world. Visit your mom on the day before Mother’s Day. Or the day after.
Visit early and often.
Mother’s Day should be everyday.
Because you never know when you’re going to see your mother on a ventilator.