Monday, November 15, 2010

The Power Mothers Have

As my son plays football behind me - yes, he's in the house, throwing a ball which tends to bounce randomly off walls, shelves, furniture, and just now, me - his actions simply give me another example I could have used in my latest newspaper column.  (Printable version here.)  

Let's just hope he doesn't end up with a broken finger from playing football in the house ... like a certain boy - who shall remain nameless - once did thirty-ish years ago.

Mothers have the most incredible power known to humanity.  This power has been used every generation since the dawn of time, and its effectiveness is evident in our own children.

Having trouble with your children?  Blame your parents, not your parenting.  Our children’s behavior is entirely beyond our control.  They behave this way due to that incredible power mothers have heretofore refused to lay aside.

What is this ability able to sit dormant for 10, 20, even 30 years before bursting back to life, crossing generational divides to unleash its remarkable power?

The Mother’s Curse.

Every mother, at some point during motherhood, faces the choice.  The circumstances may differ, but the choice remains the same.  Every child will inevitably push their mother’s limits to this crucial crossroads when frustration and aggravation become exasperation.

It is at this moment when mothers must choose.  Do I want my child to one day grow into a happy, peaceful, joy-filled parent, or do I want my child to one day experience the same frustration, aggravation, and exasperation as me?

The choice is anything but easy.

This is the time when mothers the world over, throughout history, with no regard to religion or race, culture or creed, have unanimously uttered these words: “One day, someday, you will have a child.  Just.  Like.  You.”

My wife’s train recently rolled into that station.  One of our angels was in the midst of fulfilling her grandmother’s prophetic declaration when my loving, kind-hearted, peaceful wife began, “One day, and I hope I’m there to see it, someday, you will have a child.  Just.  Like…”

“Stop!” I yelled.  “Don’t do it!”

She stopped.  Not because I suggested it, mind you.  It was more of a shocked, did-you-just-rudely-interrupt-me-in-front-of-the-children hesitation, but she did stop.

Here she was about to continue the Mother’s Curse to another generation, to perpetuate the problem of childhood conduct, and in that moment I shared -- blurted, really -- my realization.

“Don’t do it!  Don’t continue the curse!”

She did not speak, and has yet to speak, those words that nearly passed her lips.

And thus began my quest.

Parents of today, the ability to change the world is in our hands.  We Generation X-ers, often criticized as cynical layabouts and unmotivated slackers, could rise up and accomplish what no generation before has even considered.  We could end the Mother’s Curse.

Hear me out!  No longer will beds go unmade.  Homework will be completed without asking.  “Please” and “thank you” will roll naturally off the tongues of the young.  Sass will be a thing of the past.

When our daughters say, “I hope you have a child just like you,” our grandchildren will respond, “Oh, Mother, kinder words may never have been spoken.”

Words once a curse will become a blessing.

Sure, as grandparents it might be satisfying to sit back, smirk and ask, “Having trouble with the children, hmmm?”  But as gratifying as that would surely be, this quest is for the good of humanity.

Break the Mother’s Curse!  It is time. No, it is PAST time.

Your silence is golden.  An ounce of patience is worth a pound of …

What?  Our kids?

Well, no, it wouldn’t actually apply to our children.  See, our mothers have already enacted the curse upon us, but together we could …

Ah, never mind.

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