Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I remember reading Erma Bombeck when I was pretty young.  Even then, I thought she was funny and I loved the humorous and simultaneously heart-touching take she had on everyday, simple things.  She rests among my top writing idols and I strive to produce work that follows in her footsteps, even though they can never be filled.

I keep a piece written by Bombeck on my refrigerator and thanks to my father-in-law asking me once how often I actually read it, I now regularly do.  It's good advice for all, not just moms, but especially for moms who deal so deeply in the minutia of endless schedules, plans and deadlines that it's easy to sweat the small stuff.  This timeless excerpt from Erma Bombeck rings just as true today as it did when she penned it for a column in December of 1979.  Take it to heart.

Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything.  My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind.

If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, 

I’d have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten popcorn in the “good” living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored.

I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television … and more while watching real life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted.

I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for a day.

I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn’t show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime.

When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more I love yous … more I’m sorrys … more I’m listenings … but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it … look at it and really see it … try it on … live it … exhaust it … and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.

Bombeck lived 20 more years after writing this.  I wonder if she followed her own advice.  I wonder if we will....

 Let's stop and smell the Lantana.  I love Lantana!

1 comment:

alenaslife said...

Thanks for the good cry this morning Molly. Just what I needed. I think I've come across excerpts from this passage but not the entire thing. It's all true.