When I was a youngin’ my mother used to tell me the same thing every time I left the house: “Use your head!”
Of course back then it was annoying.
And, of course, I find myself using a similar (but updated-for-the-’00s) mantra with my boys: “Make good choices!”
AND of course, I now understand the gut-wrenching prayer that goes into speaking those words. I think for moms that umbilical cord really does stay psychically connected, like a lost limb.
It reminds me of a great quote by Elizabeth Stone: “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around on the outside of your body.”
I pray my sons hear those words and think about them, just like my mother did for me. And I did think of her words at times, even though it seems way too wrapped-up-in-a-happy-sitcom-ending to be true. “Use your head” empowered me. I didn’t have to do something because SHE said I did, but because I was using my own enormous intellect and willpower to do it myself.
I hope the same thing for my boys. I’ve taught you as well as I can – be off – into the world with you – but hear my voice every now and then and please, God, please, make the right choice.