That Thing I Said

The other night my phone rang.  It was about 9:30.   I knew immediately who it was.  Even though my youngest daughter knows I am nearly comatose by 9:30 pm on work nights, she calls anyway.  She always, without fail, says “I know you’re probably in bed but…”

This time she didn’t start out with that.   Instead, she said “what was that thing you used to say to me all the time?”

I knew immediately what she meant.  I nearly cried.

She kept trying to explain what she meant while I kept saying “are you ready?”

Finally she heard me and said yes, she’s ready.

I said:   WHO DO YOU LOVE?                                                         She said:  YOU

I said:  WHO LOVES YOU?                                                               She said:  YOU

I said:  WHO DO I LOVE?                                                                  She said:   ME

I said:   WHO LOVES ME?                                                                 She said:   ME

I can’t tell you how many hundreds, if not thousands, of times I said this with her.     We never tired of it.  Sometimes I would ask the questions really fast to see if she would mess up the “me’s”  and “you’s”.    Sometimes she did.   And we would laugh uproariously.    Because it’s that funny to a three year old.   Or four year old.  By the time she was fifteen maybe it wasn’t so funny….

When she called and asked I knew it wasn’t to just relive those moments of babyhood and childhood with me.

It was to establish a new joy with a new generation.

And I hope, with every parenting fiber I have, that in twenty five years or so one of her kids call her and say “hey mom what was that thing you used to say to me all the time?”

While she recalls to her not so young one any longer the long ago treasured words she is saying now, she’ll also be able to say “Mamo used to say that to me”.    And then another twenty five or so years that child will ask their parent and that parent will say their Mamo used to say that, and her Mamo used to say that.

What matters more than that?   In one hundred years think of how many generations could be expressing their dedication and love to one another.   Like generations before them did.   And generations after them will.

That’s epic stuff.

39 thoughts on “That Thing I Said

  1. This makes me think about all the little songs and sayings that were incorporated into games I played with my mother and grandmother. It’s funny to think that theseay get passed down through generations. Beautiful post.


  2. Mamo. I like that. 🙂 We’re on a similar wavelength this evening with the word “epic.”

    And as I suspect you know, any time someone acknowledges ‘what really matters’ my heart rejoices. How cool that another valuable legacy piece is becoming embedded in your family!


    • 🙂 Thank you Eric. I do love that this feels epic to me. Because it does matter. That sharing of words from generation to generation is carrying the past forward. It gives me shivvvvvvvvvers. 🙂


  3. Colleen, I need to learn to read your posts later in the day, to let them stew or to lel me stew before I read them because no matter what, they make me smile, they bring immediate joy, they make it all okay as soon as I read them. It is 637am I have been ou t of bed for 7 minutes and have had the nebulizing mask on for 2 minutes. This is the 1st thing I read, and already I am set for the day, big ass smile, and a warmth to my core. I need to wait until the crappy part of the day to read posts like this, because this sure takes the crappy out of any day. Thank you, what a beautiful post, what a heart warming way to project yourself into the future. Thank you for the wonderful smile and great warmth. Take care, Bill


  4. We have those sayings in our family too but I guess I never thought about them going on to the next generations. My grandma used to sing the deehumptydump song to us. It had no words just humming kind of. I teehumptydumped to my kids and now I hear Brooke doing it to the grandkids. Thanks for the smile today, Colleen!


  5. I am impressed that you came up with this, which became a chant and special funny thing to do, too. You involved all the special elements, Colleen! Where if you speeded it up, it could become silly, but slowed down, it has meaning and depth! Wow! I am so glad you got that call… and the tradition being handed down is awesome, indeed! Hugs, Robin


  6. Epic and wonderful 🙂 That is a great tradition and if I read this right, congratulations on another generation coming into your family! 🙂


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