My Mom crocodile wrestling my son

Things my mom taught me

Mother’s Day is a paltry slip of a day, heavily laden with overcrowded brunches and poorly molded hand print ceramics — but that’s why they made mimosas an acceptable breakfast drink. Really though, society? A single day for having manufactured a human? Or for raising and civilizing a tiny monster you otherwise procured? Seems like weak-sauce (this is a bad thing) to me. One should celebrate their amazing Mom on a daily basis. Showering her with praise and candy, so long as it doesn’t result in a concussion.

On this Mother’s Day, I would like to impart some amazing things that my Mom taught me. Things that inspired me to become the person who I am, and have heavily influenced the type of mom that I’m trying to be.

A grocery store is a good place for a water fight

Twelve-year-old-Erin and Mom were actively groping vegetables, as one does before you commit to taking something home. In the produce section of the grocery store, they occassionally “shower” all the vegetables that can benefit from a postmortem wet t-shirt contest . My Mom gave me a sneaky look, picked up a bunch of parsley and with the skill of a frat boy in a locker room armed with a wet towel, whipped a fairly sizable torrent of water at me — right in my face. After screaming and finding proper produce with which to retaliate (leafy ones are better — they hold the most water), the tradition of grocery store water fights was born. We weren’t kicked out of as many grocery stores as we should have been. However, I look forward to being banned from many stores when continuing this tradition with my son.

You can never have enough free condoms

I waited until I was eighteen years old to have sex for the first time, and by today’s standards that makes me an honourary nun. As my Mom and I had always talked openly about everything, especially sex, I told her that I was planning on bumping uglies with my boyfriend. She responded, “It’s about time, I would have done him a long time ago!”, attempting to horrify me. To which I replied, “I’ll take photos so you can give me tips afterwards.” It’s okay if you are all now jealous that you do not have sarcastic sex talks with your moms. I was already on the pill for two years because Mom put me on them when my little sisters started having sex (“Better safe than pregnant!”), but I did not yet have condoms. We didn’t have condom money (we saved that for things like food and rent), so Mom marched me over to the free clinic to pick some up. At the free clinic, they had a fish bowl full of condoms up for grabs. The assumption was that you would take two or three and be on your merry way. My Mom charged up to the front desk, the waiting room full, eyes burning holes into the back of my head, as she gleefully started putting handfuls of condoms into her purse. Like, more than twenty condoms. “Mooooooooommmm…” I protested in my best embarrassed teenager voice, trying to get her to stop. She looked up, elbowed me in the rib and drawled, “Well, we don’t want to have to come back tomorrow!” Then my head exploded and I died. I’m totally doing this to my kid.

Feel bad for bullies…their parents are stupid

I have always had opinions and have never been shy about expressing them. In elementary school, my opinions included: being an atheist at ten years old in a town full of Catholics; carrying a briefcase of books around school was an amazing thing to do; foraging for clover on the school ground to add to my lunch sandwich was wise; and it would have been better to have been born a druid so that you could train trees to eat your enemies. Also, I had unique fashion sense, got straight A’s, had thick glasses, a bad perm, braces and head gear. So, yeah — I was bully bait. I used to come home from school crying all the time because I was teased so badly. Sensitive Erin was sensitive. People couldn’t call me stupid, so they went with the traditional “ugly”, “weird” and variations thereof. Not a very creative bunch. Still, words hurt, and my Mom did not like to see me upset every day. So she sat me down and very earnestly told me, “Erin, people are going to be mean to you. It’s not because what they’re saying is true, it’s because they’re jerks and they were raised improperly. You need to feel bad for the bullies because their parents are stupid. Think of how awful it must be to have stupid parents.” While I understand this is not 100% true in all cases, I super loved this as a response. I did feel bad for those kids and their exceptionally stupid parents. I even told a few kids how I felt bad for them in the midst of some bullying sessions, which was met with entertaining reactions. The bullying did not stop, but I stopped caring what they said, and for that, my Mom will always be my hero. I hope I never have to use this line with my son, but it’s logged in my brain just in case.

So, I submit that we ramp this up and expand Mother’s Day to a full week! Seven days to celebrate the lady who raised you is hardly a chore, children of the world. And if you happen to have a terrible mom, you can use this time to reflect on what she did that you absolutely will not do to your kids, should you choose to have some. Those brunch mimosas, they work everyday of the year after all. To my Mom, who could most certainly beat up your mom, I want to say, “Happy Mom Day!” and give her virtual hugs all the way up in Canada. I’m here all Mother’s week… ba-dum-tish!