I don’t think this is particularly a NJ thing or a FL thing, but I am visiting with my sister today and we were talking about “Be Careful.”
She said she tells her kids to “Be careful” whenever they go out, and they look at her and roll their eyes, like of course, Mom, we’re going to be careful.
Our mother was visiting my sister a couple of months ago and as my sister was going out the door to go to work, our mother said to her, “Be careful.” My sister told her kids that her own mother still tells her to be careful.
My husband and I don’t have kids of our own, but we do have each other. One night I was going to bed after he was already sleeping, and with the lights off I misjudged where my bureau was in relation to the end of the bed. I jammed my foot under the bureau, and I’m not sure if my sudden inhalation of breath roused him, or the thud of my foot hitting the wood and jangling the drawer pulls. He woke up enough to say, “Be careful,” and immediately went back to sleep. Trying not to laugh, I was thinking this was information I could have used five seconds ago. Now we use “Be careful” as our code for anything that would have been better known moments sooner.
The funny thing is that as we get older, we are still kids to our parents. When my 97-year-old grandmother talks about the kids, she is referring to my 75-year-old mother and her 73-year-old brother. I don’t think we’re ever too old to hear “Be careful” from someone we love.