7 Things Your Mother Needs to Hear You Say


When I was a child, my mother was the center of my universe.

She seemed to alight from high, and softly land in all the right places.

She never raised her voice, and never ever raised her hand. All she had to do was look at me and say, ‘Cheryl Aaaann’.

Oh oh… I’m screwed.

1) Thank you for teaching me to use short phrases- with meaning.

How she put up with my shenanigans (I wore her gowns to tea parties in the woods and her false eyelashes to school) I’ll never know?

2) Thank you for nurturing my love affair with really expensive cosmetics, and the occasional ‘fake-out’.

I used to stage plays in our living room with her antique English solid walnut dining room chairs in the front yard set-up like theatre seats to view the play through our large picture window (I kept the front door open and everyone was required to ’emote’ loudly) as I wrote, cast, choreographed, directed, and had the ‘lead’ in my own productions.

After returning home from a long day of work, did she freak out?

No. She sat down and enjoyed the show.

3) Supporting the Arts is important.

I threw Carnivals in our yard, with the directions I had sent away for from the back of a cereal box. (Of course, I charged admission. Who wouldn’t?).

Mom simply suggested I use plastic milk jugs instead of her cut crystal vases for the Roll-n-Bowl.

4) Appropriate recycling is not always up-cycling, as in, you shouldn’t put a go-cart engine on your bicycle. I know that now.

I commandeered our dog’s large fenced pen to open a consignment shop, called the Sassy Kitten (I kid you not) and got all of my friends to bring their excess stuff and then sold it back to all of their friends. (Taking a commission, of course).

After deciding that the dog’s pen was a very good place for me, she decided to join in.

Her excess fabric scraps were stylishly folded and sold for a nickel a piece.

I could keep the change if I stayed out of her hair.


By the next weekend, all the grownups  had day-glo orange and hot pink floral cotton place mats on their dining room tables.

About time.

5) Setting trends is creating standards, and then defying them; like the clash between 1960’s colonial furniture and mini skirts.

She had fabulous taste. She was a professional model, after all.

She didn’t walk, so much as, float.

When she decided to advance her career into Fashion Coordinator for some major department stores, she decided that my sister and I could make some moola as child models, so she taught us to ‘float’.

And I got of of school to do ‘it’.


“Why weren’t you at school yesterday, Cheryl?”

“I had a photo shoot. Downtown. Mrs. Duncan.”

Holy Shit! I was in Fifth grade! What a great life!

6) Work it, Baby. Work it.

And whenever I got into trouble, or found myself in a pickle, or thought my life was ending because someone said this and then that happened and, somehow, my father’s corvette had a dent, I went to her.

Because she could fix anything.  Except me. Because she loved me just the way I was.

7) Thank you Mom. Just…




My beautiful mother around age 60.

  • Kathleen O'Donnell - What a beauty. Both of you! My mom just passed this last November and there’s a million things I wish I’d said, or done differently. Great post.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Isn’t that always the way Kathleen. My Dad passed away a few years ago, but our conversation would have been MUCH different. To be continued….ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Garon Froman - What a beautiful tribute to your mom. She is beautiful. You favor her, by the way.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Now if she only had a computer she could read this! I’ll have to call her tonight! Thanks for stopping by Lisa!And thanks for the compliment….ReplyCancel

  • Elena Dillon - I have to be honest, I hesitated to click on this post. I knew it would make me cry. Yup I was right. I miss my mom too. She was such a classy lady and was so calm. Gone these 23 years I have so many things I wished I’d said. A beautiful post. Thank you.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Now you’ve made me cry. Saying things in the ‘here’ and ‘now’ is so important and yet- we hesitate. But you did click. And you did comment. And so you are in MY ‘here’ & ‘now’ and I appreciate it. Thank you. Sending you a {{hug}}Ellen. Sending you a hug.ReplyCancel

  • Claudia Schmidt - What a beauty your mom (still) is! Such a sweet story.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thank you Claudia. She is very much an angel. XXOOReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - You had one of those mothers. You know, the ones we read about. Who provide their kids with interesting lives. And lucky you! She was gorgeous.

  • Connie McLeod - You obviously inherited her fabulousness!ReplyCancel

  • Cary Vaughn - Wow. She is beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Joy Christi - That is amazing. Your mother is an absolute angel, inside and out. It’s so great that you realize and appreciate that!
    My mother is the exact opposite of this, but I still try to appreciate anything positive I can find. She never abandoned us, no matter how bad we were, that’s good right? 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Ellen Dolgen - This is so sweet!ReplyCancel

  • Shelley Whaley-Meacham - I soooo love this & sooo remember LOTS of this ~ You (we) had a great childhood , didn’t we ??ReplyCancel

  • Mary Johnson - I love your mom! Wonderful post 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Foxy Wine Pocket - What a beautiful tribute to your wonderful mother. She is the kind of mother I strive to be. (Well, except I trip over my own feet.) You two amazing women are very lucky to have each other.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thank you Foxy! I trip over my feet, as well, so I usually wear flats. At 82 she still wears heels! Amazo!ReplyCancel

  • Mari Collier - Yes, your mother is/was beautiful and wise. Fortunately, I had the good sense to thank my mother when my children were small. I had to laugh at the “float” walk. I remember learning that when I worked as a receptionist at the John Robert Powers Modeling School in Phoenix. I’ve lost that ability as the bar in my one leg prevents doing that.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Do you remember that model walk? Oh yes- it was a standard. She had us walk across the living room with books on our head. What a cliche! But it worked! I hope you mend quickly my friend. Thanks for stopping by.ReplyCancel

      • Mari Collier - My leg is healed. It is just that the message to move while walking doesn’t always transmit the way it should. I can look like a drunken sailor. No, I don’t need a cane.ReplyCancel

        • Cheryl - Time. You need time for that brilliant head of yours to talk to your leg! I smell a story….ReplyCancel

  • Cathy Chester - What a beautiful tribute, Cheryl. Whatever your mom did, she did right by you. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

    The photo is gorgeous. Like mother, like daughter!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thanks Cathy. She did okay- but I won’t go further then that. SHe’s the platinum standard. I love platinum however, so maybe she did!ReplyCancel

  • William Kendall - Very sweet of you, Cheryl. One never knows when our mother’s not going to be there anymore.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - We solidier on- but you already know that.ReplyCancel

  • Tammy - Beautiful woman, your mother. Apples rarely fall far from their tree. Beauty is one thing, character quite another. It would seem that you and your mama share an abundance of both. How wonderful for you, my friend! Lovely, lovely read.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Aren’t you just the coolest gal ever! Thank you Tammmy! She couldn’t grow anything- not even apples in Ohio! But she did make great applesauce! Ha!ReplyCancel

  • Carla - Beautiful! Your mom sounds amazing and I am glad you have such great memories of her.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thank you Carla! What a pleasure to have you stop by. Gotta keep those ‘borders’ open! HA!ReplyCancel

  • Sue Pekarek - Gosh, your Mom is so elegantly beautiful and clearly was a wonderful Mom. You modeled in 5th grade- Love That! My Mom pretty much let me do anything I wanted and handled raising 8 kids like it was water. Here’s to Moms! ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - EIGHT kids!!! OMG! My mom just had my sister and me- but then there was my father and THAT’S an entirely different kind of child. Maybe I’ll write about him someday. It will BLOW YOUR MIND!ReplyCancel

  • Diane Tolley - Here’s to Moms. They distil what we give them and produce something far, far better. Loved this post. Makes me miss my Mom!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thanks Diane. Holidays always get me thinking and wondering what still needs to be done- or said. I’m happy you enjoyed it!ReplyCancel

  • Carollynn Hammersmith - What a wonderful early mother’s day post. You are fortunate to still have her around. Sounds like your mom and my mom would’ve gotten along smashingly.ReplyCancel

  • Helene Cohen Bludman - Cheryl, this is awesome! I love your mom’s style, both sartorial and otherwise. You have inherited her talent and joie de vivre. Wonderful post.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - That may be the best compliment I have ever received Helene. She’s 82 now but still full of life- opinions, and a great sense of humor. I’ve been blessed. Thank you so much for stopping by.ReplyCancel

  • Janie Emaus - I loved your ending.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - MAybe next year’s BlogHer entry? What say you Oh Winning Woman. CONGRATS!!ReplyCancel

  • Lance - You’re both stunning.

    I’m very envious of people with good relationship and memories of their mothers. I don’t have that.

    Happy Mother’s Day all around.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thank you Lance! Without her my sister and I would have certainly fallen into the abyss.ReplyCancel

  • Karen D. Austin - That is a beautiful photograph. And thanks for sharing all the wisdom gleaned from your relationship with her.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I took this photo in the mid-80’s when she was probably about 60. She’s still as beautiful- inside and out. Thank YOU Karen for stopping by.ReplyCancel

  • 7 Things Your Mother Needs To Hear You Say - What The Flicka? - […] This post was originally featured on Cheryl’s blog, A Pleasant House.  […]ReplyCancel

  • Connie McLeod - I love this post. It also sounds like she was preparing you to live in New Orleans. Happy Mother’s Day!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I never thought about it that way! Maybe she was?ReplyCancel

  • Carol Graham - What a beautiful post. My mom died when I was a teenager but the impact on my life is foreverReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I cant’ even imagine losing a mother so young. It’s taken me almost 6 decades to even start imagining it. Bless you Carol.ReplyCancel

  • Maureen Morin - What a beautiful post about your mom. She seems wonderful!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - She taught me every GOOD thing I know.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Connolly - Lucky you! Your Mom sounds wonderful!ReplyCancel

  • Penelope Shelfer - Oh dear Cheryl…this post made me cry. I know you understand.ReplyCancel

  • Rena McDaniel - I was blessed with a fabulous mom as well! I loved this Cheryl it is a lovely tribute.ReplyCancel

  • Mari Collier - A lovely tribute to your mother. Hugs. Mama was just as fabulous with what little we had.ReplyCancel

  • Lynn Hogue Paige - Beautiful Cheryl – you help me remember my childhood – i was always creating plays and putting own performances. Great Post – beautiful Mom and daughter. Luv UReplyCancel

  • Lucy - A go-cart engine in a bike??? That must have been a sight. She obviously was an amazing mother. Peace be with you, my friend.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - We had a ‘grease-monkey’ next door and WE were always trying to make things go f-a-s-t-e-r. Zoom Zoom.ReplyCancel

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