Columns & Blogs

Bonnie Bing: Today is a good day to stop and think of your mother

Last week some people on NPR were talking about the importance of play. The conversation brought to mind how my mom used to say, “Go play.” She would say this to me and my brothers when we were under foot or bickering with each other. Those thoughts brought back several memories of my mom and made me take note that today is Mother’s Day.

Yes, it is Mother’s Day. Call it a commercial holiday or whatever, but this is a good opportunity to stop what you’re doing and think of your mom. These days we don’t stop enough. And we don’t think enough about the people who have played a major part of our lives.

I realize everyone was not as lucky as me. I had an A-plus, number one mom. But even if you didn’t, you’re here because of her so give her a minute or two of brain time.

When I suggested this to a friend, she said, “Oh I’ll be thinking about her all right, I’m taking her to brunch.” Yes, that can be part of it, spending time is a great gift, but it’s the perfect day to think about your mom.

This will make it easy:

▪ First, ask yourself, “What is the most important lesson I learned from mom?” One friend made sort of a snorting noise and said, “She taught me that I would never be the type of mother she has been.” Well, OK, that’s a lesson, but thankfully there are those of us with a more positive viewpoint.

▪ My mom taught me that a smile and a compliment is better than a frown and a sharp tongue. And she always seemed to be able to look at the other person’s point of view. I continue to work on that.

▪ Now, think about a time when you laughed with your mom and the instance still makes you smile when you recall it. I have a lot of those, but a favorite was when Mom and I were shopping for swimsuits at Innes Department Store and we were laughing so hard we were crying. I think the saleslady thought we had several cocktails with lunch. She kept asking us if we were all right, which made us laugh more.

▪ Also, think of something your mother doesn’t know about you, or perhaps something you think you got away with. If you’re lucky enough to still have your mom, think about telling her this little secret some time. Not long before she passed away I told Mom some things I thought she didn’t know. Not a single one surprised her and she already knew most of them. I was the one who was surprised.

▪ One more thing: Think of something your mom did for you that helped you succeed, or maybe she “saved your bacon,” made a bad situation better, or simply solved a problem. My list of those is very, very long.

▪ If you’ve read this, I bet you’ve thought of your mom. That’s good because, think of the amount of her time spent thinking about you.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Reach Bonnie Bing at