There were some interesting conversations taking place in homes throughout the Lower Mainland this week.
“Honey, do you where my umbrella is? I thought it was in the hall closet but it’s not and need it today.”
“I haven’t seen it but I need a long sleeve shirt and can’t find any and my heavy socks are missing too.”
“Mom, where are my boots? It’s raining and I need my boots.”
Yes, the rain blew in overnight and caught everyone by surprise. By noon on the first wet day, we were already complaining about how cold and damp it was.
I was at an outdoor event, hunched up trying to keep the rain from sneaking down my neck. The varied state of dress around me illustrated how confused we all were. One guy was wearing shorts and sandals but had a bright yellow Gore-Tex hoody shielding him from the weather.
The ever-present west coast jogger zoomed by, her red legs being punished by the stinging rain and her ball cap pulled down covering the top half of her face.
A lady walked past layered in a sweater, and a windbreaker accessorized by matching scarf and gloves. Her umbrella matched her boots and she was prepared for the worst. However, the young boy following her looked like a drowned rat. His soaking wet soccer shirt hung down past his waist, sticking to the mud on his shorts. You could hear his socks squishing in his boots and his teeth were chattering. His wet hair was plastered to his head. Their walk was quiet until he sneezed. That evoked a string of ‘motherisms.’
I couldn’t hear exactly what his mother was saying but I’m sure it was those words mothers have been saying for years. “I can’t believe you didn’t bring a jacket. You’re going to catch your death of cold. This is ridiculous to play games in this weather. You’d better not get sick and miss any school. Clean your boots, don’t track any mud in the car. You get into a bath as soon as you get home.”
Mothers don’t have to practice those phrases, they come naturally and instinctively. Her warnings will change with the seasons. Last month, they included applying sunscreen and not breaking your neck on the trampoline. When the snow comes, she’ll add the winter cautions about thin ice, throwing snow balls at your little sister and keeping your gloves or mittens on so you don’t freeze your fingers off.
Obviously, many adults have forgotten the childhood warnings. The newscasts report an increase in accidents as soon as the rain begins. Drivers have just forgotten the motherly advice to “slow down and pay attention to what you are doing.”
They are ignoring mom’s orders to “wait your turn, don’t push in line and be polite.”
The seasons change and global warming brings about unpredictable weather patterns. But the pre-school lectures will never change and their messages stay with us forever. Admit it folks, before you go out, you hear your mom’s voice and you put on clean underwear. If you get a cold or the flu, at some point in your recovery you will have at least one bowl of chicken soup. You’ll tell your kids to stop running in the house. You can’t help it.
Winter’s coming. Listen to mom. Bundle up and keep warm. At least that’s what McGregor says.