Sunday, May 9, 2010


By Jo Floyd Lucas
A Tribute to Moms:
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there who have brought a child into this world, adopted a child, brought up a child, nurtured a child, or cared for a child. I think that pretty much covers almost all women in the world. We seem to be hardwired to be mothers, and that little fact bodes well for our universe.

We all have our favorite ‘mom-isms’ we heard while we were growing up…pearls of wisdom we will never forget, if not often use. Today, I pay tribute to my mother, Eleanor Floyd. At 85, she is not as spry or as healthy as I would like, but she has never stopped being the quintessential mother to me. In no particular order, here are some of my favorite pearls of wisdom from her:

Every girl should learn to sew. [As a result, Joyce and I both learned to sew, and by the age of 14, sewed almost all of our school clothes, including our prom dresses.]

Every girl should learn the proper way to iron a man’s shirt…yoke/collar/cuffs/sleeves/body. [This seems only to have applied to ironing my father’s shirts, as I now rely solely on Downy Wrinkle Releaser.]

If you learn and practice good manners, you can be invited to dinner with the Queen of England and feel comfortable. [Well, I’m still waiting for that invitation, but I keep practicing my good manners, just in case. I'll let you know how comfortable I feel.]

Whatever you do, learn to swim. [She said this one a lot, because she never learned to swim and always regretted it…needless to say, all six of us were veritable fish in the water.]

As I got a little older, the mom-isms became more specific, and much more interesting to me. Among the ones that really fascinated me;

Dress like a lady and you’ll always be treated like one. [Although I know this isn’t foolproof, I have found that people do respond to how we look. We are visual creatures, and despite our best intent, we really DO prejudge others based on their appearance.]

Take care of your possessions. If you treat them like treasures, you’ll always feel wealthy. If you treat them like trash, it doesn’t matter how much you have or what it cost, you’ll only have trash. [This one is a personal favorite…it’s just so true.]

Later, when I started my own household, my mother offered up this wisdom;

A can of paint is your best friend. Clorox bleach is your next best friend. [Again…so true. Both cost next to nothing, yet make such a difference.]

With a little elbow grease and a lot of creativity, you can furnish your home for next to nothing. [Eleanor Floyd has proven that one time and again, making silk purses out of sows’ ears for decades now.]

Spaghetti on Wednesday night makes everyone happy. [This was in response to my question, “Why do we have spaghetti every Wednesday night, Momma?"]

Later still, when it came time to advise her daughter on the ways of the world (men, that is), she offered these little nuggets, which came in especially handy with my three sons;

Men and boys have only two emotions; Happy, and Mad. When they’re happy, they’re happy. When they’re worried, frightened, sad, disappointed, anxious, or frustrated, they’re mad…you have to understand that. [Sad but true…many men really are that out of touch with their emotions.]

Men need for you to be close by when they do a job around the house…just so you can admire their work. [Maybe that was only directed at my father, but he sure did enjoy having Mom there to watch him mow the lawn or make a repair.]

Finally, when it came to her children and grandchildren, her very wise words carried me through some very tough days;

Kids need hugs the most when they deserve them the least. [Wow…I will never forget that one, and it has proven so much to me about the power of unconditional love. The next time your child (or anyone, for that matter) is getting on your last nerve, try giving them a hug…no words, just a hug. It works miracles.]

Hide the cookies in the washing machine if you don’t want anyone to find them. [Our saintly mother didn’t disclose this little hint until we were well into adulthood. I still check her washing machine on occasion to see what’s hiding there.]

Armed Service or some sort of National Service should be mandatory for all 18 year olds…just to get them out of your house. [Enough said on that one.]

And finally, the bit of wisdom that seemed so unlikely to me as a child, but which now has become so clear to me;

No matter how educated we are, we learn the most throughout our lives from our children. [Please let us listen and learn more each day from the children around us. Amen and Amen.]

What wisdom did your mother pass on to you? Whatever it was, today is a great day to acknowledge it and to thank her for it. Happy Mother’s Day!


  1. Wow. These are GREAT momisms! What a mom Eleanor was/is. And you - you are an AWESOME mother.

    Love the can of paint and gallon of bleach momism. Cool! I wrote about my mother today, too. Whoa. Mine was great but ... well ... as different from yours as night and day.

    Happy mother's day, Jo! And love

  2. A great contribution to the study of Mominids...

  3. Jo, these are PRICELESS, and that video was a scream! I love the way you organized the mom-ism's throughout your life. Mom's are needed no matter WHAT age we are. Did you also get 'learn to type - you never know when you might need a job' and 'don't make funny faces or your face will stick like that'?

    Happy Mother's Day to every girl! Reya, you had a and I were mom's to our critter kitties and dogs.

  4. Thanks, everyone! Yes, Nancy...I completely forgot about the typing one, which really DID come in handy for helping to pay my way through college. The funny faces one? Well, let's just say that explains a lot about my younger brother. (j/k!)

  5. Spaghetti on Wednesday night - Yes - your mom is very wise.


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