Mom, why do I love you? You yell at me. You beat me. You, at one point or another, refuse to fold my inside-out shirt right side out. Thus leaving me to do it, and waste an extra two seconds when I get dressed.
Is that all? Far from it! You make me eat carrots, broccoli, spinach, green beans, lima beans, beans in general, vegetables in general. You don’t let me play outside until my chores are done, or my math is finished, or my teeth are brushed. (And by brushed you mean every part of every tooth? Impossible!) You refuse to let me play video games until I clean up a mess (regardless of who made it.)
You say to me, “Do the dishes.” I say to you, quite eloquently, “Why?” You reply, venom shooting out of your eyes, “Did you eat on these plates?” I nod, gulping. “Then you had as sure as… well, anyway, you’d better clean ‘em, ‘cause if you don’t, you aren’t gonna eat off of them any more.”
“Yes, Mom,” I say, not really meaning it, but my stomach advises me to do the dishes.
You don’t let me watch the movies I want to watch. “There’s only one, okay maybe two, bad scenes, Mom!” I whine. “No,” is the reply.
“There’s only a little passionate kissing! Only a little blood! Only a little swearing. Only a few decapitations! Only a few suggestive scenes! Only a few provocatively dressed women per square foot! Come on!”
“No,” you say. “I don’t like it. I don’t want you to watch it.” (I storm out of the room.)
“Hey, Mom! Can I read this book?” I say. One glance at the science-fictiony cover, and the book is judged. Guilty on all charges.
The charges being: Too scary, too gory, too graphic, too adult (what in the world is that supposed to mean? Since when is adult an adjective?), too scary, and above all, too SCARY!
“No,” say you, handing the book back, with out cracking its pages. “No, I don’t want you to read it.”
“But it isn’t even bad! I already read the first one!”
“The cover wasn’t as bad, you said I could read it.”
“Well, un-read it, and don’t read this one. I don’t like it.”
“Mom!” I scream in anguish. “OF COURSE you don’t like it!!!! You’re a mom! Moms like the bible, romances, biographies (on rare occasions), and self-help books! You aren’t supposed to like it! Just let me like it! Augh!!!!!!!!!!”
“No, I just don’t think you should read it. By the way, did you finish your mandatory* reading this week?” *Emphasis mine.
“No, not yet,” I sigh.
“What’s the title again? Something like Sarah’s Brown Horse, right?”
“Yup,” I reply, grabbing Sarah’s Fanciful Brown Horse, heading for the nearest place to read. I shake my head. Why do I even let you be my Mom? I think darkly.
But, you don’t do this without reason.
I break windows, curtains, tables, cups, plates, and bones (mine or otherwise). That equals yelling (and money out of your pocket). I eat brownies when you tell me to save them for after dinner. I ride my bike in the front yard when you tell me to not. I play football in the house, with express orders against such actions. That results in beatings. I take off my shirt at night, and quite irreverently toss it into the hamper, with its inside out. That results in, well, uh, an inside out shirt, of course.
You know that carrots, broccoli, spinach, green beans, lima beans, beans in general, vegetables in general, help me grow strong, smart, and tall. (Tall and strong being important to me, and smart being important to you.)
You try to teach me that the work must be done before I play. A concept I refuse to, or have a hard time, or just plain can’t, understand. You try, and fail, because I refuse to, or have a hard time, or just plain can’t, understand why I would work when I could play.
You make me do my math so I can survive in the world of numbers. You do it so I can make a living, and keep it. So I won’t be cheated out of my money. You do it for me.
You make me do the dishes so I’ll be responsible. That way I’ll be a real man in the world. You try to ready me for having a job, a family, any responsibility I might obtain. You try to take away some of the growing pains. You do it for me.
You keep me away from the things that will hurt me. You keep me away from immoral women, so I don’t fall into that trap. You keep me away from bad language, as you see it doesn’t behoove me, beautiful as I am in your eyes (well, and mine too). You keep me away from images of death as you see no goodness, no pureness, no everlasting life in death.
You keep me away from what will hurt me, like you would if I was playing with fire, you try to help me, even though I kick and scream. You try to protect me from what I don’t want, even though I clearly think I want it. You try to help me, even though I make it infinitely more difficult.
Is that all? Far from it! You save your last bit of Ice Cream Sundae, or your french fries, or your hamburger, or your sleeve of crackers. You buy be stuff you know I’ll love. You help me when I struggle with a math problem. (I reply to her help with something like, “But that’s so stupid! It makes no sense!) You give me hugs, you laugh at my jokes (usually :-)). You think I’m awesome, (I have no problem agreeing) and you love all of my creations.
You love me.
That’s why I love you, Mom.
I love you.