Mother to mother: age-old questions
This past week I joined middle-aged mothers from all
over the country in a very noble and worthwhile cause --
sending a son away to college. As each one of us
watched our precious man-child walk away into the
collegiate sunset, we thoughtfully pondered age-old
questions, some to which we may never learn the
If and when he does do laundry, will he sort it properly?
And use detergent? Will he remember to wear clean
underwear and socks on a daily basis?
Will he even wear underwear and socks on a daily
Will he iron his clothes when necessary or will he
become a human laundry basket?
Will he change his bed sheets at least once this
Will he go to church regularly and enjoy it? Will he
Will he date much? Will he be a gentleman? Will he go
to her door and escort her to his car? Will he politely
open doors for her and help her with her chair?
Will he find his proper place on campus? Will he fit in
and make friends? More importantly, will he be a
Will he be invited to parties and social gatherings? Will
he behave himself? Will he wisely never leave any drink
unattended, even if he happens to be attending a
church social? Will he pour a fresh one if he happens
to forget? Will he stay out too late?
Will he remember moderation is best and that too
much of anything isn't a good thing?
Will he always look folks squarely in the eye and offer a
firm handshake? Will he respect his elders and
remember his southern upbringing by politely saying
"ma'am" and "sir"?
Will he enter rooms quietly and thoughtfully? Will he put
others before himself?
When faced with tough decisions, will he be his own
man? Will he be a leader and lead well or will he be a
follower and follow well? Will he know when to lead and
when to follow?
Will he eat properly and chew with his mouth closed?
Will he eat enough vegetables and keep in mind
pickles don't count?
Will he faithfully brush the teeth his daddy and I spent
years and a boatload of money straightening? Will he
Will he go to class and pay attention? Will he study
something other than girls? Will he make the grade?
Will he spend money wisely?
Will he remember to have the oil changed in his car
and rotate the tires? Will he drive safely?
Will he remember at least some of what he's been
taught at home?
Will he write home? Will he call home? Will he answer
my letters and return my calls?
Will he ever come home again?
Will he miss me?
Barbara is a freelance columnist and speaker who
lives in Willow Springs with her family and their big,
black Labrador, Susie Belle. Barbara may be reached
via her Web site at www.barbaramadden.com.