Mama's Hands
By Brenda Sutton
1987

Every now and then you open your mouth and your parent's voice comes out.  It's always startling.

This song was written for the benefit of my daughters, Kathrine, Merideth, and Bethany Craven, and dedicated to my mother, Beverly Erbacher and my mother-in-law, Nancy Sutton Kaminski.

Mama's Hands is available on the Strangers No More CD available from DAG Productions http://www.filk.com/store/index.htm.

My mama... Beverly Erbacher.Today while clutter gathering I glanced into a mirror
And I had to look again a long, long while,
For the woman staring from the glass was somehow not just me,
But the moment that she grinned I knew her smile.

Those are my mama's hands on my mama's arms,
Those are my mama's eyes looking at me,
And from my open mouth her laughing voice comes out,
And I'm sounding just like her when I was three.

"Did you get a boo-boo, Baby?  Let me drink those tears."
"There might be a bogey man, but he'd have me to fear."
"Oh, I could grow potatoes from the dirt inside your ears!"
When did my mother slip inside of me?

I remember as a teenager I swore that when I grew up
I would never say the things Mom said to me,
But I find my mother's phrases popping out in crazy places,
And what's more, they sound like sensibility.

That is my Mama's stance and my mama's stare;
I even seem to walk with Mama's stride.
I'm getting more like her, do I snore like her?
And am I feeling now the things she felt inside?

"You're too young for make-up, Sweetie.  Wait 'til you're sixteen."
"I'm not Janie's mother.  I don't do this to be mean."
"If those clothes fit any tighter, you would bust out every seam!"
When did my mother slip inside of me?

Mama, oh Mama,
You never were this smart when I was young,
But Mama, oh Mama,
It seems the older that I get, the wiser you become.

I'm told that there's a mother's curse that every mother places
Upon the head of each child at her knee:
Someday when you grow up you'll have children just like you,
And they'll do the things that you have done to me.

That is my mama's sigh and my mama's nod;
I even have her hair. It's turning gray.
She gave much more to me than I'll ever know,
But I'm finding a new gift with every day.

"Worked my fingers to the bone!  Now please tell me for what!"
"You're not too big to be spanked.  That's why God made your butt."
"We're putting on a little weight around our little gut."
When did my mother slip inside of me?

Those are my mama's hands on my mama's arms,
Those are my mama's eyes looking at me,
And from my open mouth her laughing voice comes out,
And I'm sounding just like her when I was three.