Momma told us to wash our hands. Momma told us to cover our faces when we coughed.
Oh, if only we had listened. Maybe we wouldn’t be in this mess.
When cases of COVID-19 began to sweep through the United States — indeed, across the globe — health experts insisted that the best way to protect ourselves against picking up the coronavirus, and any harmful germ, for that matter, was to practice basic good hygiene: wash our dadgum hands, and cover our faces when we cough.
Yep, Mother always new best. And on this Mother’s Day, we have more than enough proof that her counsel was as good as any pronouncements from renowned experts.
It shouldn’t be a surprise; our mothers are our first teachers and our lifelong protectors. She will be the most important person many of us will ever have in our lives, as we know her love is unconditional and she’s not afraid to be stern when necessary.
It’s a lesson we should always keep in mind, even if our appreciation might have faded with time. We might not remember when we were small children and Mom was our ruler. We did everything she asked — fetch a diaper so she could change your sibling; bring your dirty laundry to the washing machine, and yes, wash up for dinner. Our devotion was absolute, for we knew that there was no way we could live, or even function, without her.
As we aged and became more adroit, able to serve ourselves a bowl of cereal, for example, we became more independent, and a bit less mindful. We’d fetch the laundry only after we’d killed all the zombies on the video game. We feigned deafness when she called us in for supper.
Eventually we began to openly challenge this greatest sage we’ve ever known, perhaps even rejecting her advice during our teenage years. After all, there’s no way our old-fashioned mother could understand, and certainly ever experienced, the unique issues and problems that modern youth must navigate. Moms were never rebellious teens themselves, were they?
Even now, as we see a small woman who needs help switching to the streaming services on our newfangled smart TV sets, we might fail to appreciate that this little woman, who constantly reminds us of how much she wishes we were still living under her roof — and under her rules, of course — she prepared us for adulthood.
After all, that was her job: nurturing us, teaching us, preparing us to deal with a sometimes hostile world on our own. She cultivated our independence, Through the years and perhaps without our perception, she has imparted more wisdom upon us than any shaman.
The simplest truths are the greatest, after all, and heady concepts are nothing if we don’t understand the basic art of living. And no one can inculcate that understanding into our minds like our mothers.
So this year, as we give Mom the traditional Mother’s Day gifts and attention, let us consider the state of the world we’re currently in, and appreciate how much better we’d all be if more of us had simply listened to our mothers.