(I'm not one for putting forwards or mass mails on my blog. But this was forwarded to me by my editor and it really moved me. So figured I wanted to keep it for posterity and share it too. Hope you relate to it as much as I have.)
motivates a parent,
I will tell them, as my Mean Mom told me:
I loved you enough to ask where you were going, with whom, and what time
you would be home.
I loved you enough to be silent and let you discover that your new best
friend was a creep.
I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours while you cleaned your
room, a job that should have taken 15 minutes.
I loved you enough to let you see anger, disappointment, and tears in my
eyes. Children must learn that their parents aren't perfect and have their
own human weaknesses.
I loved you enough to let you assume the responsibility for your actions
even when the penalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart.
But most of all, I loved you enough to say NO when I knew you would hate
me for it.
Those were the most difficult battles of all.
I'm glad I won them, because in the end you won, too. And someday when
your children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates
parents, you will tell them.
Was your Mom mean?
I know mine was. We had the meanest mother in the whole world! While other
kids ate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal, eggs, and toast.
When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches.
When all the other kids were allowed to stay out late, we had a 1 o'clock
Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times. You'd think we were
convicts in a prison!
She had to know who our friends were and what we were doing with them.
She insisted that if we said we would be gone for an hour, we would be
gone for an hour or less.
We were ashamed to admit it, but she had the nerve to ask us to take a bus
when all the other kids had chauffeur driven cars.
She always insisted that we tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing
but the truth. By the time we were teenagers, she could read our minds and
had eyes in the back of her head. Life was really tough!
Mother wouldn't let our friends just honk the horn when they drove up.
They had to come up to the door so she could meet them.
Because of our mother we missed out on lots of things other kids
experienced. None of us have ever been caught shoplifting, vandalizing
other's property or ever arrested for any crime. It was all her fault.
Now that we have left home, we are all educated, honest adults. We are
doing our best to be mean parents just like Mom was.
I think that is what's wrong with the world today. It just doesn't have
enough mean moms!
(PS -- I think this applies to fathers too... no? :-))