1. Sopa aguada
Even when bottomless plates of soup were a definite part of your childhood nightmares, you must accept that your mom makes the best soup in the whole wide world and there’s no discussion about that.
2. Calling you names depending on her mood
M’hijito: peace and harmony reign the world.
M’hijo: all good, could be better.
Juan: Something you did or forgot to do… she noticed already.
Juan Alfonso: two names… time to start worrying.
Juan Alfonso Sánchez: as we Mexicans use to say, “ya valió madre”.
3. Taking away your boredom
There’s a lot to do around the house. If you’re bored and are innocent enough to claim it out loud, sooner rather than later you’re gonna be chopping onions, hanging clothes to dry, folding dry clothes, cleaning beans, sweeping the sidewalk or cleaning up your room, which surely looks as a dog’s nest… Are you still bored or you want some more?
4. Predicting the future…especially when the weather is involved
If she tells you to get a sweater, you better follow her advice; it’s quite probable she already detected the polar masses of air approaching. Mexican moms have a weather station integrated into their senses and it’s far more accurate than the Weather Channel. Better grab that jacket and the umbrella when she tells you so.
5. Becoming a human lie detector
“Veme a los ojos y dime que no fuiste tú” (look into my eyes and tell me it wasn’t your fault)… is the typical phrase that indicates she’s switched to lie detector mode. You know there’s nothing you can do about it, she’s more efficient than the polygraph test and sodium pentothal together. Now is a good time to confess and surrender to her will.
6. Improvising costumes in record time
Mexican moms have the uncanny ability to transform three sheets of crêpe paper and some glue into the most faithful representation of any national hero, with the corresponding headdress and everything… overnight.
7. Smashing your depression with a sugar overdose
No breakdown is powerful enough to prevail against your mom’s arroz con leche or any other dessert in her arsenal. In case of a true emergency, she always keeps enough chocolate Abuelita to leave you swimming in serotonin.
8. Treating your discomfort with home remedies
Half of the plants she keeps at home are there for something more than aesthetics… including the garlic and onions in the kitchen. You probably know that there’s nothing better for your soared throat than a good garlic or bougambilia infusion, that your stomach upset will calm down after having some cinnamon or chamomile, and that no evil resists a direct confrontation with arnica. Thank your mom for all this knowledge.
9. Scaring the hell out of you with urban legends and myths
She told you that crooked mouths are a consequence of leaving the dinner table in a rush, that men with sacks patrol the city looking for naughty children, that watching tv for too long or from an inappropiate distance is related with becoming cross-eyed, that La Llorona has been seen around here and that your hand will rot and dry if you ever dare to raise it against her… All these efforts just to make you a better person!
10. Finding lost objects
You know this scene by heart because you’ve been there uncountable times: your mom sends you looking for her purse, she’s positive it’s inside her bedside drawer; you go to her bedroom and open the drawer to confirm the obvious… the purse is not there; you empty the drawer and behold it’s emptiness; you now put everything back in and return to your mom to give her the bad news; the dreaded sentence arrives “Si voy y lo encuentro… ¿qué te hago?” (if I go and find it… then what?). You know she’s gonna find it, but it’s always surprising to see how easily she manages to make the damn purse appear out of thin air. You doubt your senses for a while and fantasize about your mom having a night job as a magician. Was the purse always in the drawer? Were you really such a distracted kid? Was your mom bullying you?
11. Making your hangover disappear
Your mom’s breakfast menu leaves no room for competitors. Her chilaquiles and those scrambled eggs in green or red salsa are just perfect to jumpstart your system after too much partying. Feeling good already? Perfect! Now you can go buy some groceries, pick up the laundry, give the dog a bath…
12. Being right
You know it’s true.