Trinbagonian moms provide a plethora of advice to their children, some direct, some practical, some in high riddle form which leave you puzzled. We asked CAMSEL staff what were some sayings or life lessons their mothers passed on to them which they carried through to their adulthood, and in some cases, their own parenting.
Kathryn Tardieu, General Manager
My favourite piece of advice from my mom came from the airlines: Put the oxygen mask to your face first before you try to help anyone else.
Mary Pitman, Advertising Officer
* Nothing is too little to share—everybody who passed, visited, dropped by got something to eat, if we were sharing food, we had to share for them first, and the whole household always had enough to eat. When she picked breadfruit and avocado the whole neighbourhood got.
* The longest rope has an end.
* God is good—she repeated this every single day over and over.
* Never deny someone a plate of food.
Raymond Syms, Editor
When I lived at home, I’d go to sleep seeing my mother praying, and wake up with her still praying in the living room. Her advice to me in every situation was always “Just pray. Pray, pray, pray and God will work it out.” My mom passed away April 21, 2015.
Lara Pickford-Gordon, Senior Writer
When I was in my teens, my mother used to talk about maintaining a good “reputation”; that used to irritate me because my thinking was, ‘why should I care what strangers thought of me?’. It never occurred to me how females are judged and condemned and this was her concern. She grew up in a time when women could be labelled “jagabat” and “wabeen”. “When you lose your reputation, you can’t get it back,” she said recalling her own mother had said words to that effect.
Another thing my mother said was “It is better to have a good friend than bad love affair” which will sound archaic in the ‘friends-with-benefits’ time and other terms for the blurring of relationship lines. Unfortunately, when men hear you just want to be friends that is like a death knell to friendship too!
Going out liming with men I should walk with ‘vex money’. Why have such a negative mindset when going out? I guess the rationale was should the date not be so gentlemanly after all and I am left in the lurch, no man can make ‘style’ because I can still pay my way and get home.
Kaelanne Jordan, Writer/Media Relations Officer
*When dry bush drop in water it don’t rotten same time—things may not necessarily affect you now but it certainly will later on.
* Come see me and live with me is two different things.
* One eye dog don’t ramp in sand—you’re already blind in one eye, so why ‘blind’ the other eye playing in sand.
* Always wear proper ‘drawers’ cause you never know what could happen before you reach home.
* When you have glass windows don’t throw stones.
* When digging a pit for someone, dig one for yourself.
Simone Delochan, Copy Editor/Writer
When birds too happy, they fly past their nest—I didn’t understand this until I was an adult, but it was a warning to never get carried away by emotions or situations but to maintain balance and remember obligations.
Renee Smith, Communications Officer
Wherever you catch a cold, you blow your nose. —a warning my ‘moms’ gave if I thought of doing anything rebellious or nonsensical.
Tshenelle Bethel-Peters, Web/Social Media Officer
The best advice I’ve gotten from my mother was to work and pray. She is a firm believer in faith and works: you work hard, and you pray hard too. Do your best, and surrender your work to God. He will handle the rest.