Jewish World Review May 11, 2001 / 18 Iyar 5761

Sayings of the mothers. Not.

By Erica M. Rauzin -- OKAY, so I’m a Jewish mother, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” as Jerry Seinfeld would say. But given the jokes about our role, even the good humored ones, it is necessary for a Jewish mother to maintain a certain sense of perspective, especially with Mother’s Day looming again.

I admit that I fail to see that a Jewish mother is any more concerned (not to mention obsessed), or cautious (not to mention hovering), or filled with admonitions (not to mention warnings) than any other mother. For sure, the Irish, black, Russian, Catholic, short, tall, old and young moms of my acquaintance all seem a bit dippy when it comes to telling kids what to do.

Hence the handful of laughs we all got when I passed along this e-mail outlining things you will never hear a Jewish mother say. Though my audience included mothers of all ages, all immediately available ethnicities, and all sorts of children (from married offspring to toddlers), we all saw ourselves in these.

For instance, no mother ever said, “”Be good and for your birthday I’ll buy you a motorcycle!” It’s possible that some mother, somewhere, may have offered to buy a helmet, but that’s as far as I’d go.

And what Mom would use these messages (some of which reach me through e- mail’s ceaseless river of jokes):

That’s the one statement my kids wish I’d make, since I independently ponder whether or not to grant permission for events that, as far as they report, every other mom on the planet has endorsed, no matter how dangerous, late, or far afield. But even endorsing Timmy’s Mom, sight unseen, is more likely than some of the other notions that come to my mind when I read this list, such as:

Now there are nights when I’d like that that last one just as much as the kids would, or maybe more. This one too:

Oh, kids, I made meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans. Come and get… ah, let’s just order a pizza.

JWR contributor Erica Meyer Rauzin writes about the Jewish condition from Florida. Send your comments by clicking here.


© 2001, Erica Meyer Rauzin