"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mum's Anatomy

     My mother had her own way of describing our anatomy when we were little. Eyes were peepers. If they were dark eyes, especially if they were on children, she'd refer to them as "shoebutton eyes"--even though I'm sure she had never had to button up her shoes any more than we had.
     Our ears were always "shell pink ears," which I imagine is some literary allusion. She would whisper her best secrets into our shell pink ears.
     There was a certain place she liked to kiss which would make us giggle. She called it our "gubby." I'm not sure why. I asked Tim and Ted whether the gubby is the back of the neck or the base of it. The base of the neck makes more sense to me but I'm pretty sure it was the back.
     Tim says it's the side: "She'd nuzzle you in the piece of neck between your cheek and your shoulder from behind and you'd oonch around with your jaw and your inner shoulder and sort of pretend resistance, it's not just anatomical, it's a whole behavior, like Peekaboo.  I bet Mbuti have gubbies."
     When we choked while eating, instead of saying we had swallowed something "the wrong way," she'd say it "went down our Sunday throat." I don't remember what she said if we choked on Sunday.
     Our hearts had cockles which could warmed or pleased.
     Hands were "hannypankers." It took Jerry to break it to me that that word isn't German. I always thought it was. When she wanted us to spread our fingers, maybe so she could wash the jam off them, she would tell us to "make starfish."
     Then of course the elbow was our "funny bone" and our littlest fingers were our pinkies.
     The parts of our anatomy all came into play when she gave us a bath. She had us close our peepers while she washed our shell pink ears, had us make starfish so she could scrub our pinkies and when she had scrubbed us all over she said we were wearing our "soapy suit."
     When we were all clean she would reward us with a kiss in our gubby.

Today I am thankful for the 45 years I had with my mother. She left this life on February 11, 1990. She would have been 96 this year.

1 comment:

  1. What a precious sharing. Thank you! I wonder what sorts of things my littles will remember me saying someday... :)