When I was little, my mom and I used to have a lot of fun turning old ideas around and changing the meaning into something we enjoyed more. This was our way of turning old realities upside down.
When we heard someone say, "I'm going to kill two birds with one stone," we changed it to "I'm going to feed two birds with one seed!"
"What's the matter -- cat got your tongue?" was transformed into "Are you dwelling deep in the silence?" That one always made us laugh!
"Don't put off for tomorrow what you can do today" turned into "Celebrate tomorrow what you will choose to do today!"
"Be careful" became "Be full of care," and "Never give up!' was changed to "Ever look up"
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" became "A laugh a day brings health my way." I guess we decided that laughter was even more important than eating the apple.
"Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite!' was changed to "Good night, sleep tight, a big hug and a kiss good night." I liked the thought of hugs a whole lot better than the thought of gruesome bugs under the bed!
"Good God, it's morning" became "Good morning, God," which was easier to wake up to than a groan. We started calling "sunrise and sunset" "the morning tilt and the evening tilt" since it reminded us that we were the ones moving around the sun and not the reverse.
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One night, when I was about eight years old, I wanted to tell my mom a secret wish of mine, but I wanted her to promise not to tell a soul. "Promise?" I asked her a couple of times. "Promise," she said, with her hand over her heart. "Cross your heart and hope to die?" I pleaded. "No," she said with a grin. "How about: Cross my heart and hope to..." Before she could finish, I blurted out the final word: "Fly! Cross my heart and hope to fly -- yes! That's it" I told her. "That's my secret wish -- to fly!"
My mom was surprised and said that it was "like finding two diamonds in the haystack." Not only did she guess my wish, but we changed an old phrase, too.
Then she asked me to make her a promise. "Promise to follow your dreams" she said. "Promise?" she asked. "Cross my heart and hope to fly!" I replied.
Full Esteem Ahead: 100 Ways to Teach Values and Build Self-Esteem for All Ages
by Diane & Julia Loomans.
Reprinted by permission of H J Kramer, P.O. Box 1082, Tiburon, CA. All rights reserved. ©1994.
About The Author
Julia Loomans, now Julia Godoy, wrote the excerpts for this book at fifteen and sixteen. She was twice selected to attend the Young Authors Conference and has won awards for her writing. She participates with her mother, Diane Loomans, in presentations on self-esteem and is the co-author of Positively Mother Goose.