by David Sisler

When you were a child, you probably said, after one of your mother's famous statements, "I will never say that to my kids!" If you have youngsters of your own, you have probably stopped in mid-sentence and said, "I sound just like my mother!" Your Mom would be so proud.

Here are some famous "mom-isms." Do you remember your mother saying any of these? How many of them have you said to your children?

Someday your face will freeze like that!

What if everyone jumped off a cliff? Would you do it, too?

Look at me when I'm talking to you.

Do you think your socks are going to pick themselves up?

How many times do I have to tell you...don't throw things in the house!

Were you born in a barn? Close the door -- and don't slam it!

I don't know is not an answer.

Whether we treasure those recollections or try to submerge them deep in our subconscious minds, they are unalterably entwined within us. In a large measure, they have become our definition of common sense.

When I started collecting "momisms," I found some great sayings. The people who uttered these fantastic sayings did not sign their names, but deserve recognition none-the-less. Some of them Mary Elizabeth Sisler said to me. Some of them became "dadisms" and I have said them to my gang. Most of them are from that wonderful world of "anonymous." But, thank you, just the same. Here are some more.

Look it up in your contract: I'm the Mom, you're the kid. I get to do the nagging.

Am I talking to a brick wall?

I worry about you.

Who are you going with? Do I know them?

If you don't quit that, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week.

You'll miss me when I'm gone!

Speak up. I can't hear your head rattle.

I don't care what "everyone" is doing, I care what you are doing!

Do I have to send you an engraved invitation? Sit down and eat!

You just have big bones.

You must get that from your father's side of the family.

If you slouch like that, you'll get a hump in your back and no boy will ever ask you out.

If you'd open your eyes as wide as your mouth, you'd find what you're looking for.

You don't have to like me, I'm your mother.

So it's raining? You're not sugar -- you won't melt.

She was not yet a woman, but no longer a little girl. And she was engaged to be married. One morning she had a visitor he was literally from another world, an angel named Gabriel.

"Greetings, Mary!" he said. "The Lord has blessed you and is with you."

Mary was confused. Imagine for a moment that it is you, seated at your breakfast table, trying to eat your corn flakes before they get soggy. Your coffee is already cold and the morning newspaper has not yet arrived. Then without a knock at the door, an angel is sitting across the table from you. He is dressed in a robe so white it is blinding and he is leaning casually on a harp. Well, maybe there is no harp, and maybe he is wearing blue jeans, a T-shirt with a funny curved line over the pocket and a baseball cap (I did say he was an Angel). If that is you, is confusion your only emotion?

Evidently, Mary was more than confused because the next thing Gabriel said was, "Don't be afraid, Mary, because God is pleased with you."

I do not know how you would respond with that, but I think I may not have been comforted by his assurance especially, if I am an unmarried teenaged girl and this visitor, who just popped into my kitchen out of thin air said, "You will become pregnant. You will give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus. He will be great, and people will call him the Son of the Most High."

The confusion and the fear were suddenly gone, and Mary said, "Hold it right there, buster! That is impossible. I have never had sex with a man. I am a virgin!"

Gabriel smiled. It was a smile that covered his entire face and while it did not give her total understanding of what was happening, it caused faith to grow in Mary's heart.

So Mary became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Her belly began to swell and the rumors started. Joseph believed her story because he believed in her and he believed the word of another angel. He married her even though she could no longer fit into her bridal gown. Nine months later a heavenly choir caroled the birth of her Son. Mary named her son, Jesus, which means Savior.

To the list of "momisms" add one more. It is the final statement of Mary to Gabriel: "I am the servant girl of the Lord. Let this happen to me as you say!"

There is no better way to honor your mother, or to be honored if you are a mother, than to say to Mary's Son, God's Son, "Let your will be done in me, just as you have said."


Published in the Augusta Chronicle 5/10/97

Copyright 1997 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

Your comment is welcome. Write to me at:

Back to David Sisler's Home Page