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By Mel Makaw
contributing writer 

Learning (and laughing) with mom

On the Bright Side


May 11, 2024

I lost my mother over 20 years ago and I still miss her every day. I hold close so many wonderful memories of her, especially the ones where we laughed together.

One time I shared an email funny with her titled, “Things my mother taught me.” Mom laughed as hard as I did because, after all, mothers are also daughters. And because we enjoyed this piece so much – and the underlying truths are timeless – I want to share this list once again with all of you in honor of the upcoming Mother’s Day:

Things my mother taught me…

My mother taught me logic when she said, “Because I said so, that’s why.” And more about logic when she said, “If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”

My mother taught me foresight when she said, “Make sure you wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident.”

My mother taught me irony when she said, “Keep crying and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

My mother taught me about the science of osmosis when she said, “Shut your mouth and eat your dinner.”

My mother taught me about contortionism when she said, “Will you look at the dirt on the back of your neck!”

My mother taught me about stamina when she said, “You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

My mother taught me about weather when she said, “This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

My mother taught me about hypocrisy when she said, “If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times – don’t exaggerate!”

My mother taught me about the circle of life when she said, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it.”

My mother taught me about envy when she said, “There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

My mother taught me about anticipation when she said, “Just wait until we get home…”

My mother taught me about medical science when she said, “If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way.

My mother taught me ESP when she said, “Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?”

My mother taught me how to become an adult when she said, “If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

My mother taught me genetics when she said, “You’re just like your father.”

My mother taught me about my roots when she said, “Shut that door behind you – do you think you were born in a barn?”

My mother taught me humor when she said, “When the lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

My mother taught me wisdom when she said, “When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

And finally, my mother taught me about justice when she said, “One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!”

I hope you can laugh with your mom like I could with mine, and that you are making many memories together.

Happy Mother’s Day.

© 2024 Mel Makaw. Mel, local writer/photographer and author of On the Bright Side, a Collection of Columns (available locally at Tehachapi Arts Center and Healthy Hippie Trading Co.), welcomes your comments at


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