Thursday, August 9, 2012

Laughter and Tears: A lesson from my mom

"You've got to laugh a little, cry a little... that's the glory of love." Billy Hill

The song above, most recently made famous by Bette Middler in Beaches is one of my mom's favorites. And a good teaching song.

I was probably around 10 years old, helping my mom make cookies. I don't remember exactly what went wrong, but I think I spilled the flour and made a mess with the eggs. I was certainly old enough to be more coordinated, but we laughed and cleaned it up and continued with our project. My mom sang that song.

All the ingredients finally contained in the mixing bowl, I turned on the electric beaters. And lost control, nudging the bowl off the counter to shatter on the floor.

Not just any mixing bowl. The flowered one my mom had inherited from her mother, who died before I was born. It was too much. I started to cry.

She didn't scold me, didn't get angry, didn't even cry. She assured me that it was monetarily worthless and certainly not the only object holding memories of her mother. She helped me clean up the third mess of what should have been a quick and easy project, then turned with a small smile and sang again, "You've got to laugh a little, cry a little..."

Thanks, Mom. That's the glory of love.


  1. Had not thought about this song in many years. With the internet access I was able to google several artists renditions of this 1936 song. A meaningful post to your Mom and so many others who have crossed our paths. GBY Aunt Monica

    1. The internet can be a wonderful thing! Thank you for being another great teacher in my life.