M. SCOTT MORRIS: There’s more to love than sweet words

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

Straight from Mom
– For more quips from Mom, visit NEMS360.com for “My Momma Said….”

We’re in the middle of Mother’s Day Weekend, when good sons and daughters unleash bursts of ooey-gooey emotions.
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. Make sure the people you love know you love them.
I’m going to make an important phone call on Sunday, and I’ll say sweet things to Mom because she deserves to hear them.
But it won’t be all flowery phrases with rainbow wishes and unicorn dreams. That’s because I’ll be talking to the woman who used to say, “I’m going to jerk a knot in your head, boy.”
She said it often, and, mostly, she said it with a smile.
Mom is a practitioner of the right and proper art of sarcasm. She learned from her parents and passed it down to me. Now, my children threaten to sell me to the Gypsies.
“We’ll trade you for a goat,” Evan said.
“We’ll trade you for the whole farm,” Olivia said.
I’ve been threatening to sell the kids to the Gypsies since they were born, and they’ve turned it back on me. I’m so proud, and I think Mom’s proud to know the family tradition continues.
I don’t think I’ve ever threatened to jerk a knot in Mom’s head. But she knows she’s in a three-way race with my Dad and my in-laws for use of our garden shed as an old folks home.
“Whoever claims it first,” I said.
“Watch it, buddy,” she said with a smile.
She knows I’m full of … well … I think you know what I’m full of.
Even though this is Mother’s Day Weekend, I don’t mind adding, with all due love and affection, that Mom’s got some of that same stuff in her, too.
It’s not the heart of our relationship, but it’s a touchstone, a place where we can meet between finishing supper and clearing the dishes.
“Yeah, uh-huh,” she’s said. “Just see if I fix you boiled cabbage again.”
But she always fixes me boiled cabbage again, and it’s always deep-down-body good. Lord, it’s far from sugary sweet, but there’s love in Mom’s boiled cabbage, and there’s love in the salty, playful words we banter about.
We’ve cried together. We’ve stood by hospital beds and gravesides. I’ve kissed her and told her what a strong person she is.
I’ve also thanked her for not wrapping me up in a burlap sack and drowning me in the Tennessee River, “tempting though it was.”
In this life, we spend a lot of time looking for what’s next, but every so often, we stop and assess what we have. Mother’s Day is such an occasion.
It’s time to consider my blessings and say, “How did I get so lucky?”
Knowing Mom, she’ll probably say something like, “I’m the lucky one.”
The conversation will continue, well beyond the sweet words. If I’m lucky – if I’m really and truly lucky – she’ll also say, “Watch it, son. I can still jerk a knot in your head.”

M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal entertainment writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal.com.

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