A Mom Knows These Things

A Generation Fabulous Blog Hop: The Best Thing I Learned From My Mother

Me: “Hey, Mom, guess what?”

Mom: “You’re pregnant.”

Me: “How did you know that’s what I was gonna say?”

Mom: “A mom knows these things.”

MommyThat’s my mom. She was born in 1915 and died in 1989 from pancreatic cancer. She lived with us until the end. I cared for her with the help of a wonderful hospice team.

I was a mid-life baby –born in 1954. She was afraid that I was going to be affected with Downs Syndrome, although they didn’t call it that. At that time, it was  referred to as Mongoloidism, which is no longer in technical use as its considered offensive. They didn’t have genetic testing back then and it scared her that  I was such a good baby, always happy and never cried.

The doctor told her I would make up for it by causing her heartache when I was a teenager, and I did — but that story is for another time…

My mom became a registered nurse at a time when abortions were illegal. She often told me that the horrible things that she saw in the hospital — the aftereffects of a botched backroom abortion — were the reasons she was one thousand percent pro-choice right from the beginning.

“A woman has the right to choose whether or not she wants to have a child.”

That’s something I learned from my mom.

“No man has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body.”

I learned that from my mom, too.

These forward thinking ideas were even more remarkable when you consider that her father — my grandfather — was a Rabbi. My mom was one of seven children. They moved from town to town as my grandfather moved from synagogue to synagogue  — a nomadic life.  Although she was born in Minnesota, my mom spoke with a slight southern drawl because the family spent many years in the south.

They eventually ended up in Detroit. I loved hearing my mom tell the story of climbing onto a city bus and walking to the back along with an African-American girl who had been told to “get to the back of the bus”. The bus driver kicked my mom off for being a troublemaker.

meandmommyObviously, that’s where I got my big mouth. I learned to speak up for those less fortunate — to fight for those that have no voice. I learned to speak up when I see child abuse or animal cruelty. As proud as I was of her, I know she’d be equally as proud of me.

My mom taught me what it meant to be a mother. She abhorred daycare and nannies and was disdainful of mothers who worked. She told me that people shouldn’t have children if they don’t want them and if they can’t take proper care of them.

No stranger would raise HER grandchild.

“A child deserves to have a mom who will selflessly dedicate her life to her child with unconditional love.”

I always knew I would be a stay-at-home-mom — my mom showed me how.

And also thanks to my mom, I wear perfume every day — Chance by Chanel. It’s my signature, even if I’m just going to the gym. I learned that from my mom, too.

“Don’t save perfume for special occasions.” Fragrance can turn rancid and sour smelling. This is what she said when she presented me with my very first bottle of real parfum — Joy by Jean Patou.

“Wear it every day. Wear it for yourself.”


My mom and me. I think I had just given birth…not sure where my baby is!

Along with a love for cleaning the house with bleach, collecting seashells and blue glass, my mom passed on the shopping gene.

My passion for the finer things in life are directly related to that first mother-daughter dress, my first pink satin ballet shoes, my first silk blouse, and my first treasured cashmere sweater.

When we enjoyed a bit of retail therapy, Mommy (yes, I called her Mommy) liked to buy me things because she said it made her happy.

Her favorite saying was, “It’s only money.”

That cracks up my tugboat man — although she passed away a few years before we met– he says he’s now paying the price (literally) and carrying on the tradition – under duress. Ha ha ha!

Thank you, Mommy. I miss you so very much.

This is a bloghop!

58 thoughts on “A Mom Knows These Things

  1. It sounds like you had a wonderful mother! I don’t have fond memories of times with my mother, we didn’t shop together, she hated having someone else in her kitchen so we didn’t bake together either. I tried to do better with my own daughter, but I still hate shopping, so she had to go with friends. But I was always there for her to talk with whenever she wanted.


    • You are so wonderful to have learned from what you didn’t get when you were young instead of being the same way. Shopping isn’t all that important-being there IS! i hope you have a wonderful mothers day. I had to post it early to participate in the blog hop, now what will I do for mothers day? Maybe I’ll make my son write something about me and post it here.

      On Sun, May 5, 2013 at 10:57 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo


  2. Your mother sounds like a real character, someone who definitely made up her own mind when it came to controversial subjects and wasn’t swayed by others’ opinions. She’s passed that strength on to you, I can tell!


  3. My Mom was a nurse too, wore perfume daily..I still recall that Charles of the Ritz silver bottle I swiped from her dresser in 5th grade..went to school smelling like a perfume factory.. she never said a word either..you and i were most fortunate to have such wonderful Mother’s..I miss my Mom more than I can allow myself to realize..
    Happy Mother’s day to us!!!


  4. I love your mom! And, a lot made sense to me when I read this, of why I feel drawn to you, not just the blog site and your posts but a sense of you, a kindred spirit. I wish I could have met your beautiful mother, she could have been an aunt. She’s lovely and my kinda woman. (a tiny aside: my mother was from a family of 8 from Chicago. My father a family of 9 from England and his father was a cantor). For all we know, we could be related somewhere down the genetic line. Thank you for this marvelous post. Big cyber hugs, Paulette


    • A cantor, how cool is that! And what a big family, maybe that’s why my mom was pro-birth control, too! She thought there were too many kids in her family. My mom was even shorter than me and very soft spoken (not like me!) but she had a lot to say. yes, we do have a lot in common! 🙂 PS Rain here today, how are you doing? Is it helping the fires?

      On Mon, May 6, 2013 at 8:43 AM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo


      • Thanks Goodness 80% contained and hoping that the rain does the trick. Big happy dance for the rain. Love love love it! 🙂

        My mom was a shortie also and I’m only 5’2 3/4″ (shrinking as we speak, lol). She wasn’t big on verbalizing things. I grew up with cousins and relatives over to our place, singing and carrying on. Can’t recall ever meeting my grandpa the cantor but figure that’s why living and being around my family was like living in a Broadway musical. You couldn’t breathe a word without it triggering a song (of course I’m exaggerating).

        Been great chatting. 🙂


  5. I love the part about the doctor telling your mom that you’d make up for your good baby behaviour when you got to be a teenager. So funny. And I also love the perfume suggestion. Every day is a special day – she was so right about that. She sounds like she was a wonderful woman, and she has a wonderful daughter!


  6. Love that you got the shopping gene! And LOVE the phrase it’s only money! Amazing pictures. What treasures. Love DIL xoxox


  7. Pingback: A Mom Knows These Things |

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