I had the meanest mother in the world. While other kids had candy for breakfast, I had to eat cereal, eggs, and toast. While other kids had cake and candy for lunch, I had a sandwich. As you can guess, my dinner was also different from other kids’ dinners. And my mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times. She even had to know who our friends were and what we were doing!
I was ashamed to admit it, but my mother actually had the nerve to break the child labor law. She made us work! We had to wash dishes, make the beds, and learn how to cook. That woman must have stayed awake nights thinking up things for us kids to do. And she insisted that we tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. She was definitely uptight.
By the time we became teenagers, our lives became yet more unbearable. When friends came over, none of this tooting the car horn for us to come running. She embarrassed us to end by insisting that our friends come to the door to get us.
I forgot to mention that most of our friends were allowed to date at the mature age of 12 or 13, but our old fashioned mother refused to let us date until we were 16. She really raised a bunch of squares and you can bet our friends laughed at us. And another thing: Unlike all the cool kids, none of us were ever arrested for shoplifting or busted for dope. And who did we have to thank for this? You’re right: Our mean mother!
Well, now I’m trying to raise my children to stand a little straighter and taller, and I am secretly tickled to pieces when my children call me “mean.” I thank God for giving me the meanest mother in the world. The world needs more mean mothers like mine!
Note: If you read the biography of Dr. Ben Carson, you’ll find that much of his book is about his mother. Dr. Carson grew up in a ghetto and was at the bottom of his fifth grade class. Then his mother “laid down the law” and ordered that Ben and his brother, Curtis, could watch only three t.v. shows per week. These two kids were at their wits’ end! Also, she demanded that they read two books a week and turn a book report into her for review (and she could hardly read at the time). This was the turning point of Dr. Carson’s life. At 33 he became the Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at John Hopkins University Hospital. He was also the first one to successfully separate Siamese twins joined at the head. He perfected “hemispherectomies,” which means the removal of one half of the brain in patients who have constant, life-threatening seizures (the other half of the brain takes over the functions of the removed half, especially in babies, but with some minor permanent side effects). Dr. Carson even removed tumors from the brain stem that most surgeons won’t touch. Dr. Carson recently spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast, and our president sat two seats away from the podium. Dr. Carson spoke against socialism and praised the importance of rewarding initiative and hard work. I recommend his biography, “Gifted Hands,” and the movie by the same name, starring Cuba Gooding. Dr. Carson is a role model for us all….because he had the meanest mother in the world!