07 May 2009

mother's day reminder


your attention please, originally uploaded by McBeth.

Mothers are integral members of families. Before a child is born they’ve read books written by experts. Despite morning sickness and her gag reflex your mother choked down prenatal vitamins the size of horse pills to give you every nutrient your sea monkey self would need for proper brain development. Mothers even refrain from consuming alcohol during pregnancy to ensure a safely delivered package. She does these things because she already loves you, even before your birth. Mothers feed us, they teach us to clean our hands, our ears and our teeth. They comfort us when our feelings have been hurt and they love us unconditionally. Your mother would put her personal safety behind yours in any dangerous situation. She would pitch you out the second story window of a burning building into the arms of a waiting rescuer before tossing herself out. She is the person who will reassure you that you are the most exquisite creature on earth, even during your clumsiest, most acne-laden years. She may dispense advice and demonstrations on completely embarrassing topics you are horrified to be speaking openly about, but this is because she knows the Universe will at some point hand you a pop quiz and she wants to know she did her best to help you study for it. But make no mistake: she who gives life can also take it away. If you giggle during worship services she will squeeze your hand so tight you’ll start to wonder as you squirm if she’ll ever let go, or if you’ll ever get the feeling back in your tingling purple fingers. You cannot imagine the challenges of motherhood, young friends. Mothers are burdened with the task of saving us from ourselves until we are old enough to recognize that we don’t actually know everything, and mothers take their jobs seriously. It might seem like unfair wrath, but trust me on this one: don’t talk back to your mother.

You and your friends have been engaged in covert ops during lunchtime and math classes, hatching plans to get to the Rat Poison show next Friday night. Your plan is to induce her into giving you her blessing by tugging at her heart strings. If you’re brighter than the average bear your argument will resemble some form of ‘I’ll die if I don’t get to go’. Be prepared: she will probably say no. Even if she does, even if you cannot convince her with sobbing and tears rolling down your cheeks, don’t tell her you hate her. She can, and will, come up with a list rivaling Santa’s ‘Good Children’ tome of ingenious ways she will teach you to regret the fact that you said you hated her. Unless you enjoy cleaning carpets with your tongue for a month, do not tell your mother you hate her.

It is a sunny Saturday afternoon and, because you’re bored now that you and your friends exhausted all the ways to set things on fire using a magnifying glass, you inform your mother that you’re going to head over to a convenience store two miles away to watch the clerk twitch as you and your friends paw each piece of pocketable candy. If your mother has a pulse she will say, over my dead body. This, young friend, is not the moment to tell your mother she is not the boss of you. Right there, in front of your friends, she will peel your emotional skin off with a single silent glance. She will grin her grinchiest smile. And because mothers are calculating creatures, she will calmly inform you, oh yes she is the boss of you. At this point you may hear the screen door slam, an indication that your friends have abandoned you. This is because they know you will be spending at least the next month setting tables and scrubbing toilets, cleaning the litter box, the hamster cage and your little sister’s stinky diaper pail until your mother is sufficiently convinced that you do understand she’s the boss of you.

Your mother wants the best for you even if the direct route to goodness is paved with dictatorial punishment and personal misery. Make her job easier while you save yourself some time and tears; don’t talk back to your mother.

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