It is my mother’s birthday this week – so as a special birthday homage – I am giving her a chance to respond to my repeated references to the
obsession with Days of our Lives different “parenting style,” that she had back in the good old 1970’s.
I have tried to explain to her many times that in this day and age, if I got caught lying around watching back to back soap operas, someone would surely call the authorities and have me hauled away to the mental institution, but she thinks I am crazy.
She constantly says things like “Lady, really, why don’t you just take a nap….you run yourself ragged.” or “Why don’t you just lay on the couch and read your book.”
I usually just stare at her like she is speaking a foreign language.
After I referenced the fact that she watched Another World instead of addressing the fact that my gym teacher made me take a shower in elementary school - she decided to speak up.
She sent the following letter:
Thanks Mom! Happy birthday!!
------------------------- Dear Lady, As your mother, I do feel badly for you, your new "motherhood" is very disturbing and completely foreign to me, Yes, you are resilient, and that's because you were raised (not "parented") to become self-reliant, independent thinking people, capable of solving your own problems. If you or your brother ever bothered me on the beach, while I was reading, to complain of someone throwing sand, cranberries or not sharing, you were punished twice, once for the inappropriate behavior, and secondly for being a tattle tale. As for the gym teacher, I still don't see what the big problem is. Seriously, do you people really expect her to walk through a locker room of 25 half-naked girls with a blindfold on so she could trip over the balance beam and crack her head open? Then there's the issue of teachers and/or principals being "mean". Call me old-fashioned, but I usually figured that if that were the case, it was most likely that YOU DID SOMETHING WRONG. I also believed that the squeaky wheel didn't always get the oil. Sometimes, if a parent consistently tortures the teachers by reporting every little injustice their perfect angels had supposedly suffered, the teacher might harbor a little resentment toward the child, which would obviously not be good when they filled out their ten page report cards. "Petition Moms"...really??? The mothers of my day were far too busy working part-time, volunteering for local charities, managing political campaigns, writing editorials, and getting elected to public office ourselves, almost always with our darling children in tow. You were all thrilled to be eating donuts, home-made Italian cookies and sheet pizza at headquarters on Election Day, after you'd spent the previous month running up and down the streets sticking political flyers in people's doors. I suppose that would be kind of like a "play date", right? At the end of the day, I would love to be watching a soap opera, Jeopardy or CNN, as I was folding a mountain of laundry, and could smell our delicious (preservative and hormone free) dinner simmering away in the kitchen. I did have to glance out the window every now and then, as you and your brother were happily playing with the dozen or so other neighborhood children OUTSIDE BY YOURSELVES. It was a wonderful life, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. So, Lady, I'm proud of you. Keep up the good work and I'll see you on Election Day! love, Mother Gaga