Memoir: A young daughter honoring her mother; A young mother delighting her son

Filed in Gather Family Essential by on May 1, 2011 0 Comments


When I was a young daughter

Every spring when I was young, the women of the church my family attended held a Mother-Daughter banquet. Attending it with my mother was one of the few times I got to eat out. Money wasn’t plentiful enough in our family to eat in a restaurant. Moreover, with six children in the family, we seldom got invited to someone’s house for dinner although we frequently had others at our home for Sunday dinner.

In the spring of 1948 when I was in fifth grade, banquet organizers announced a contest. Daughters who were in elementary school were invited to write the lyrics of a song honoring their mothers to be sung to the tune of Yankee Doodle at the banquet.

I wrote the following lyrics for the contest:

TUNE:  Yankee Doodle

1.  Daughters, mothers, friends, and all,

Who are at this gay meeting,

Big and fat and short and tall,

We bid you all a greeting!


Oh how happy all are we

Now to see each other

To sing and laugh and eat and talk

And honor our dear mother!

2.  The food is good, the songs are fine,

The jokes are very funny,

I am so glad I came to dine.

It sure is worth the money!


Oh how happy all are we

Now to see each other

To sing and laugh and eat and talk

And honor our dear mother!


At the banquet, the whole crowd sang my song.I won the contest. My prize? A yellow plastic apron–something to remind me to help my mom in the kitchen.

When I was a young mother

Years later, I was a stay-at-home mom with two young precocious children. When my son David was four or five, he loved gleaming lights like the Lite-Brite toy we had given him for Christmas. And even at that young age, he was interested in and showed an aptitude for science.

To encourage David’s interest in science, we gave him subscriptions to a couple of science-oriented children’s magazines. One issue included a simple recipe for making alum crystals, which I did with him. I don’t remember the details of the process, but we ended up with a pie-tin full of glistening crystals.

David was thrilled with the crystals. His eyes sparkled as he looked at me and emphatically pronounced, “Crystals are beautiful and important!”

David’s delight inspired me to write the following verses for him.

Crystal poems for my son (Circa 1968-1969)

Crystals shine like the sun

Crystals glitter like the stars

Crystals reflect like the moon

Crystals are rainbows.

Crystals glitter,

Crystals gleam,

Crystals sparkle

Crystals beam.

Crystals glitter, gleam, glisten, glow.

Crystals make me glad.

David, the crystal lover, at age 4 ½ wearing the brightly colored jacket that he himself had selected because he liked the many bright colors.


The young mother—me–in the kitchen 1968.

About the Author ()

I am a retired environmental, health and safety manager who has done some work in communications. I have a knowledge of and passion for sustainability issues. In temperament I am a peculiar mix of stable soul and free spirit.

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