Hold your face

So, the other day I was pulling out of the church parking lot and had to cross traffic. I hate crossing traffic. It’s the epitome of unwanted confrontation. There was a time when I would go a mile or so out of my way just to avoid crossing traffic, but I digress…

So, I’m pulling out across both lanes and I tell my son, “Hold your face!”

Yeah, that’s not what I meant. I was going to say, “Hold your horses!”, but I knew that was wrong. Hold your horses means to slow down, not be prepared. I was so flustered in the moment I couldn’t find the words to say, “Hang onto your hat!” which didn’t feel right anyway. My favorite warning is “Close your eyes.” {insert evil laugh here}

The best part was when my son said, “I knew what you meant, I was just waiting for your to figure it out.” He cracks me up.

I started thinking about all the family clichés I grew up with. My dad used to ask, “A/C?” which meant “All clear?” until the day my grandma responded, “Yes” because she thought he meant “Anything coming?”

One of my favorites from dad is, “Half past eating time, time to eat again.” I’m proud to say I’ve past that one on to the next generation. Another one is, “Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?” or how about, “Come back when you can’t stay so long.”

My mom had a few I always liked, “Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” and “I fear neither God nor man, but give this woman what she wants.”

It makes me smile to know I’m passing on a great tradition of family clichés and hopefully adding a few of my own: “They’ll get glad in the same pants they got made in” and “Kill them with kindness” ~~ Okay, those aren’t mine either, but they have helped me more times than not.

My contributions would include, “They only have as much power as you give them,” and “Maybe the grass is greener on the other side, because their septic tank is broken.”

Clichés can be, well, so cliché–but they can also be a connection to a fond memory that should be passed along, no matter how many times my dad says, “I wouldn’t be this old if I hadn’t lived this long!”

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