Things my mother taught me

Growing up, my mom had several adages that she would repeat from time to time. These words of wisdom were usually about personal health. The funny thing about mothers is that you believe 100% what they say even if you are a grown adult and have gone to medical school and have your own children.   So despite my 14 years of post-high school education, here are some of the things that my mother told me that I just cannot shake from my belief system:

1.  Your skin is too hot.  You just need to calm down.   I have very sensitive dry skin and am prone to patches of eczema.  Certain materials like wool make me very itchy.  When I was a little girl, I would scratch inappropriately in public and complain about the itchy sweaters.  My mom told me that it was not the sweaters but due to the fact that I was getting too excited and getting my skin too hot and I just needed to calm down, cool down, and the itchiness would go away.   Now that I am in my 30’s, occasionally I still make the mistake of wearing a wool sweater and I still find myself inevitably whispering under my breath, “I just need to cool down.  The itchiness will go away if I just calm down.”

2.  Going to bed with wet hair will give you a headache.   My mom used to warn me that if I didn’t blow dry my hair completely,  I would get a headache.  As a result, if I ever have a headache, the first thing I think about is if I went to bed with wet hair (despite the fact that I almost always wash my hair in the morning and not at night).

3. Shaving your legs gives you electric legs.  When I was maybe five or six years old,  I remember sitting by my mom, the two of us wearing shorts.  I brushed up against her legs and felt a sudden prickliness.   I asked her why her skin felt this way and she answered, “Electric legs.”  To this day, whenever I haven’t shaved my legs for a few days, I think to myself, “I have electric legs!” and imagine currents of electricity running up and down my legs.   Of course it sounds much more sexy than “mommy-needs-to-shave-legs”.

I doubt that my mother even remembers telling me these things but I think about the power of my own mother’s words and wonder to myself…what kinds of crazy things are my kids going to remember me telling them 30 years from now?

Happy Birthday to my mama!  I love you!


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