I HAD THE MEANEST MOTHER OF ALL
I had the meanest mother in the whole world. While other kids
ate candy for breakfast, I had to have cereal or eggs and toast. When
others had cokes and candy for lunch, I had to eat a sandwich.
As you guess, my supper was different from the others kids’ too.
AT LEAST I wasn’t alone in my sufferings. My sisters and two
brothers had the same mean mother as I did. My mother insisted
upon knowing where we were at all times. You’d think we were on
a chain gang. She had to know who our friends were at all times, and
what we were doing. She insisted if we said we’d be gone one hour
or less, we would be gone one hour or less, not one hour and one minute.
I am nearly ashamed to admit it, but she actually punished us. Not
once, but each time we did as we pleased. Can you imagine someone
actually punishing a child, just because he disobeyed? Now you can
begin to see how mean she really was.
THE WORST IS yet to come. We had to be in bed by nine each
night and up early the next morning. We couldn’t sleep till noon
like our friends. So while they slept, my mother actually had the
nerve to break the child labor law. She made us work! We had to
wash dishes, make beds, learn to cook and all sorts of cruel things.
I believe she laid awake at night thinking of mean things to do to us.
She always insisted upon our telling the truth, the whole truth and
nothing but the truth, even if it killed us. And it nearly did.
By the time we were teenagers, she was much wiser and our life
became even more unbearable. None of this tooting the horn on a
car for us to come running. She embarrassed us no end by making
our dates and friends come to the door to get us. I forgot to mention,
while my friends were dating at the mature age of 12 or 13, my old
fashioned mother refused to let me date until the age of 15 and 18.
Fifteen, that is if you dated only to go school functions, and that was
maybe twice a year.
MY MOTHER WAS a complete failure as a mother. None of us has
even been arrested, divorced or beaten his mate. Each of my
brothers served his time in the service of our country. And whom
do you have to blame for the terrible way we turned out? You’re
right, my mean mother.
Look at the things we missed…we never got to march in a protest
parade, nor to take part in a riot, burn draft cards and million and
one things that our friends did. She forced us to grow up into God-fearing,
educated, honest adults.
Using this as a background, I am trying to raise my children. I stand
a little taller and I am filled with pride when my children call me mean.
Because, you see, I thank God, He gave me the meanest mother in the
From Party Line = KUTI RADIO, Yakima. Wa. 1976
And just for the record.... my kids will tell you that this essay is