Growing up with a mother who’s a nurse, I’m well-versed in many common medical fallacies. (Fallacy: a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning.) For instance, “sugar makes kids hyperactive.” In a study performed at Riley Hospital in Indianapolis, physicians could not note any differences in behavior between kids who had had sugar and kids who hadn’t. Interestingly, parents who were told their kids had eaten sugar noted that the child was more hyperactive. Seems like it’s in the parents’ minds, eh?
Here in Spain, I can never go a day without hearing “you’ll catch a cold.” Why? Not because I have been in contact with germs, not because I came into contact with a virus, no – because I went outside and it was cold.
How, in fact, does one catch a cold? Do you have to use a catcher’s mitt or will a pitcher’s suffice? How cold must it be – freezing? Is the cold slippery, hard to keep from slipping through my fingers?
Mario’s mother is imminently concerned with my clothes, footwear, and outerwear. If I go out in sandals, she asks, “But won’t you be cold/catch cold?” If it’s raining, she worries about the size of my umbrella and its inability to protect me from the rain that will inevitably penetrate my skin and inject the cold right into my bloodstream. She is not, from what I can tell, atypical. She is a mother, so she worries. (From my own mother, I’ve learned that it’s truly a mother’s preogative. Worrying is what they do.) While my mother worries more about me behind the wheel of the car, Mario’s thinks about whether we’ve eaten enough or have on the proper jackets.
Wise people often say that people are essentially the same. We all dream, hope, strive, fail, achieve. More mundanely, we all eat, sleep, and, ahem, go to the bathroom. To me, this truism is reflected perfectly by Mario’s mother. I may sigh in frustration when I cannot convince her that I’ll be fine with what I have on, but it’s no different from the sigh I emit when my own mother says for the zillionth time to “Drive careful.” (Never mind that it should be “Drive carefully.” Let’s leave grammatical hyperaccuracy out of this.) Mothers everywhere love and protect to the best of their abilities. And so I say thank you, Pepita, for loving me the best way you know how.