What a Sailing Mom Says…

December 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

… is usually something important to listen to.

Every Christmas everyone in our house makes something for everyone else. It’s a counter to buying things. Sometimes a made gift is a painting or a knit scarf or some extra chores. This year, the kids collaborated on a classic for Mom: a box of magnetic Momisms.

Momisms are things Mom says that only Mom can pull off: expressions that change the course of the minute and refocus everyone on something more important like a laugh or a task. And everyone knows exactly what she means. My wife has many, and now, with some kid creativity, they can be stuck to the refrigerator.

  • That’s so Jank – Something is messed up. Busted. Flawed. Move on.

  • Sew buttons on your underwear – Usually follows a trailing “so….” and corrects poor grammar.

  • Your what hurts? – Can be used for many things like “tough it out others have it worse”, or can just be a subtle reference for butt to get a chuckle.

But the Momism that brings me the greatest pleasure will only resonate with fellow sailors.

In our sailing family Mom works the pit. She manages halyards, coordinates sail changes, keeps a clock, has her ears on the VHF, and is, as are many great pit managers, the glue that holds the sailing team together.

And when we’re screaming downwind, powered up, weight back, kite strapped down, chasing surf-able waves, Mom keeps one hand on the Vang all the times. She’s the last line of attack when the boat is about to go out of control. Ease the Vang, and she’ll stay on her feet (the boat and the mom). Don’t, and there will be trouble.

When we’re pushing the limits, Mom will sometimes say, loudly, “I have NO MORE VANG!” Everyone knows to hold on tight. I take it to mean, “Dear, it’s time to reduce sail.” We eventually do. And it’s the right and wise thing.

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