I am now officially my mother. Its been coming on gradually over the last few months, which makes me think it might be a developmental thing connected with a significant birthday I have coming up. Or perhaps my new status as a grandmother.
Whatever the reason, these days I sometimes find myself coming out with my mother’s sayings, mini homilies of morality, wise woman stuff which was layered onto my mind during my childhood and after years lying dormant has started to pop out unexpectedly in my conversation.
Some of the phrases are connected with childrearing, such as ‘he can’t grasp his sleep’ to describe a wakeful child. Another favourite of hers is “you wouldn’t stop a galloping horse to notice that”. – a common sense response to dismiss problems of a trivial nature.My mother has always been intensely practical.
Others reflected a time when money had to be made go round, and were perhaps heard from her own mother in the 1930s. Phrases like ‘to be poor and show poor is damn poor, which always makes me think of Scarlett O’ Hara pulling down the green velvet curtains to make herself a dress. ‘Cheap is dear in the long run’ was another warning against false economies. But the one I dreaded most was ‘swank money’ – extra money you would take with you on a school trip to look flush, but which you would bring home without spending.