Everyone who knows me will attest to the fact that my Mum is an ever constant presence in my life and in all my conversation. Sometimes, I worry that I bore people, but then I think, it doesn’t really matter, because I know that I can never ever, stop talking about her.
After I met my mum, on the day of her funeral, I not only realised that she was a lot more than just my mother, I became determined to be “her daughter” in every sense of the word. I have always loved and openly adored my Mum, just because she was my Mum, the woman that gave me life, but after seeing her through the eyes of others, it has become a love and adoration that is totally informed.
These days, I find myself remembering conversations I had with her. I remember her dispositions in the face of diverse circumstances; I remember how she reacted when angry, upset, or worried about something, I remember the look on her face when she finds herself at a loss, I see her expressions of happiness, excitement, glee, or satisfaction. And as I envision all these, I learn and I love her even more.
However, growing up was tough! She was one tough cookie. The meanest disciplinarian I have ever met. And several months ago, after reading something similar, I wrote this:
The woman I call mother was the meanest mother in the whole world. She was a lot of things; kind, loving, caring, attentive, affectionate, generous, patient, and a lot more.
But she was mean. Very mean. As a kid I was denied a lot of things most kids had. I also had a lot of things forced on me that I didn’t want at all. Not of my own free will.
I mean which kid wants to eat all that?
But at least, I wasn’t alone in my sufferings. My 4 sisters and two brothers had the same mean mother as I did.
My mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times. The guys that built the GPS could probably learn a thing or two from my Mum. You’d think we were on a chain gang. Actually, sometimes, it did feel like that. She had to know who our friends were and where we were going. She insisted if we said we’d be gone an hour, that we be gone one hour or less–not one hour and one minute. Her timer was as accurate as they come and she made sure we remembered that time is to be respected.
By the time we were teenagers, she was much wiser, and our life became even more unbearable. She embarrassed us to no end by making sure she knew our friends and their mothers. If I spent the night with a friend, (which hardly ever happened) can you imagine she checked on me to see if I were really there. I never had the chance to even daydream about eloping to Mexico. That is if I’d had a boyfriend to elope with. I forgot to mention, while my friends were dating at the mature ages of 12 and 13, my old fashioned mother refused to let us date until you’re old enough to talk “engaged to be married”.
Actually, you were not allowed to mention the word “boyfriend” not to think of having any.
Our mean mom had eyes everywhere. She knew what you were doing before you even started. She read our thoughts before we even had them.
As the years rolled by, and with our Mum behind us, talking, hitting and teaching respect, none of us was allowed the pleasure of being a drop-out. We went further to get into different universities. In her books, you have to go on learning. You can never have too much of knowledge, she said.
My mother could be considered by many as a complete failure as a mother. Out of seven children, all of us attained some higher education, with a good head on the shoulder. We all have the respect and admiration of our peers. And whom do we have to blame for the terrible way we turned out? You’re right, our mean mother. Look at the things we missed. We never got to do or try any of those things most people are ashamed of . We missed out on a million and one other things that our friends did. We didn’t end up in prison. We never got hooked on drugs, or alcohol. We are still now respectable members of the society, and with a strong sense of our individual identities.
She forced us to grow up into God-fearing, educated, hard-working and honest adults. Using this as a background, my mind is made up, I am going to be just as mean as my mum, and I will stand a little taller and filled with pride when my children call me mean, because, you see, I know they will…
And, I thank God, for He gave me the meanest mother in the whole world.
Kindly share with us how mean your mum is or how mean you are to your kids.