Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Thermometer Mother"

by Frances Brown
My mother was a thermometer,
Tall and sure and fine,
With grades of sensitivity,
And mercury down her spine.
She'd hold her hand in our oven,
A trick both true and nifty,
How could she guess the heat just right
For her cake---three hundred fifty?
She deftly dipped her elbow in
My sister's bathing tub,
Then clicked her teeth and said "Okay",
Give her a read good scrub."
She'd hold her hand on brother's brow
Before he'd even sneeze.
How could she know his fever rose
To a hundred and two degrees?
When we'd get the iron skillet
We made our popcorn in,
She'd lift the lid and smell the heat,
"It's hot enough! Begin!"
My mother was a thermometer,
With mercury down her spine,
Her readings right to a degree,
That centigrade mother of mine!

I found this little poem in a box of things that belonged to my Grandma Brown.
But it reminded me more of my own Mother.
I remember her holding her hand over the skillet of grease to see if the temperature was ready for her chicken. It had to be just the right temperature...or else, she would say, we would have soggy chicken!
And fried chicken was one of my favorite meals.
She would hold her hand close to the iron...and then she would "fry a little spit" on it! (I even do that to this day.) Only then would her ironing chore begin.
She would wave her hand in the oven to make sure it was hot enough for her melt in your mouth yeast rolls.
And she too, could tell with the tender touch to the forehead, if you were really sick, or just maybe wanting to stay home from school that day. It was rare that we ever tricked her!

I find myself doing these same things.

Maybe this gift will be passed on to my daughter & daughter-in-law.

I think we all have a God given gift of knowing when all isn't well with our children.


Karen Walden said...

I was doing this to Paige at IHC! I think she had a low-grade fever. She just kept saying she didn't feel good and I think she was telling the truth!!

Cute poem and I can remember Gma Brown doing several of those things too!

Carol said...

That's exactly how I remember out mom. : )
What a sweet post.