Like so many of us, Michele Slung makes lists on a daily basis. Mostly they’re practical: tasks, bills, groceries, phone calls, etc. Yet occasionally she breaks away from the mundane, creating one that’s simply its own excuse for being.
Which was the case back in 1984, when suddenly she noticed how often she heard herself preface a sentence offering a familiar thought or bit of advice with the phrase “as my mother used to say.”
Only just for fun, she then decided to catalogue as many of her mom’s maxims as she could. But when she described to an editor friend the enjoyment this had given her, he had his own idea, which was turn it into a book --- one that would include the pronouncements of many other mothers besides her own.
Cut to 1985 . . . . when Momilies®: As My Mother Used to Say® was published, and became a New York Times bestseller, with over a million copies purchased.
A sequel, More Momilies®, came out in 1986. It, too, made its way onto bestseller lists around the country.
Plus, since mothers are pretty much the same the world over --- even when the words and customs are different --- Momilies® was adapted into other languages, among them French, German, Italian and Japanese.
mom•i•ly (mom′ ǝ lē ), n., pl. -lies.
1. a sermon made by a mother.
2. an admonitory or moralizing discourse from mother to child.