Sunday Scribblings: Do I Have To?

here I am as a child

The topic for Sunday Scribblings this week is " Do I have to?"
How many times did you utter these four words while growing up? The question may have been spoken in a bit of a whine. There may have also been some begging involved.
Do I have to come inside?
Do I have to sleep with clippies in my hair on Saturday night?
Do I have to turn off my light and stop reading?
Do I have to go to bed just when the good part is starting?
Do I have to ride in this hot back seat with my two siblings close to me and you smoking in the front?
Do I have to wash woodwork instead of going to the pool?
Do I have to sit still while you comb the tangles out of my hair?
Do I have to sit and visit with Uncle Jack even when he hides behind the couch, then jumps out and scares us?

Growing up my mom seemed to be the one that answered the questions for me.
here is my mom

Now that I am an adult this nagging question comes up often. Sometimes I want Mom to be here to say, "Yes... you have to" and then I will just do it. No procrastinating. No second guessing. No questions asked. Just do it. here I am today as an adult

Do I have to weed the gardens when it is ninety degrees outside?
Do I have to scrub my grill in the BBQ every time I use it so it looks brand new?
Do I have to decide myself if it is time to put Emily to sleep?
Do I have to cut coupons and drive to three stores to "save"? Can't I just buy the brand I want?
Do I have to eat right, exercise, drink filtered water, take vitamins, wear sunscreen, and floss every day?
Do I have to read a book because it is on a list that somebody said was a "must read" book before you die and the plot doesn't interest me?
Do I have to drive slower and keep my trunk empty to conserve on gas?
Do I have to be nice to people that go against everything I believe in?
...and do I really have to wash down my kitchen once a year? Who made that rule?

Sigh.... maybe I don't want Mom here today.... I think I would have too much to do.

To read other Sunday Scribblings go here.


  1. I just loved this! Both lists of "Do I have to...", the childhood one and the adult one, correspond closely to my own. What a cute little girl you were (and still are)! As I've gotten older I've given up lots of things on that adult list with a firm "No, I don't have to!"
    But then I've added others. Do I have to recycle everything? Yes, I do if I care for the future of my planet. One list shortens, another lengthens. A natural progression, I guess.

  2. Good lists! I could add to it, but I'll refrain, wouldn't want to overwhelm you! :D Isn't great how moms have the power to get us to do stuff we'd rather not, just by saying, "Yes, you have to!"
    Now that I'm a mom (of teenagers) I get to be that person! Secretly, inside of me, I want to say, "No honey, do whatever you want." But what would that teach them about responsibility! As if taking out the trash teaches responsibility! HAHA! :D

  3. I only remember saying 'do I have to' once just once....

    love love love your lists and you and your mum as both just gorgeous.... and not 'I didnt have to' say that, but its true..


  4. Oh, yes. There are far too many demands...My mother was dedicated to her have-to's so I kinda kicked the traces a little bit earlier but every now and then they all come running back and overwhelm me. Nice post!!

  5. Loved the "Do I have to's" I must have asked some form of that a million times. Sometimes the answer was "the look" from Grandma. That said it all!

    Thanks for stopping by my "place" and leaving comments. I tried to visit here yesterday, but all my favorites were somehow blocked. I could see my blog, but nobody elses. I nearly went nuts! I'm glad everything is working today.

  6. Do I have to comment? No, but I want to!

    I can imagine my mom or dad telling me yes or no when I wonder Do I really have to do....

    I liked the way you put that. Great post!

  7. your mom looks so good. I can't believe she was my teacher nearly 50 years ago.

  8. I enjoyed your Scribblings today! Thanks for visiting my blog, too!

  9. we all seem to have a common list of the "do i..." afflictions, but happily we get to grow out of them and eventually get to a place of infinitely more freedom - and it's great!!!

  10. You and I both know the answers to these big questions! I enjoyed how you 'compared & contrasted' your mom and you. A delightful read!
    p.s. Haven't you heard, no one washes walld anymore. :O)

  11. do you wash down your kitchen once a year???

  12. Thanks for all your comments!
    Yes, MBW she does look good and when I told her she couldn't believe it had been fifty years since she had you in second grade! lol
    and to all of you....and I am glad my mother isn't online... I DO NOT Wash down the kitchen once a year!!

  13. Sometimes I hear myself speaking with my mother's voice. Does every kid say, "Ah, do I have to?" How neatly your post catches the sense of passing time and changing priorities. Great photos with that same great smile on each face.

  14. Love this. It is pretty scary when the words out of your mouth sound like your mom's.Wow!!


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