This letter is the story of a mother written by her grown daughter. We tend to forget that our mothers give so much of their lives to us during our childhood. As adults we look back and notice that we owe them a lot of gratitude for making us the people we are today. Their love and care is invaluable, even when they let us make our own mistakes…
“I had the meanest mother in the world. While other children were allowed to eat sweet stuff for breakfast, I was forced to eat porridge, eggs and toast.
When other kids bought soft drinks and candy, I had to eat a sandwich that she packed for me. As you can imagine, I wasn’t very happy at dinner time. There was only one thought that made me feel better: I wasn’t alone. My sister and my two brothers all had the same awful mother as I did.
When we went out to play, we had to let her know exactly when we would be home and we weren’t allowed to be a minute late. She forced us to wear clean clothes and to have a bath every day while other kids got to wear the same clothes for days. The other kids laughed at us because we wore homemade clothes to save money.
But that wasn’t all! She always expected strict discipline. Even when we stayed up past 9 pm, we still had to get up the next morning at 8 am.
We had to learn how to do the dishes, make our beds, cook and do other difficult things. Sometimes I imagined her lying awake at night while she thought up more horrible things for us to do the next day.
She made us tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, even when the truth wasn’t pretty.
Time went by but our lives didn’t get better. We couldn’t lie in bed and pretend to be sick so we didn’t have to go to school like other kids did.
When our friends were allowed to stay home from school because of a little scratch, we still had to go and get the best grades possible. Our mother always demanded that we do our best in everything.
And so it continued, year after year. In school we were constantly the butt of jokes, but we just ignored them. Even after we finished school we weren’t allowed any peace. My mother had done something really terrible and results spoke for themselves: two of us went on to university and none of us ever had a problem with the law. There’s only one person responsible for the people we’ve become: our heartless mother.
We weren’t allowed to do a lot of the fun and interesting things our friends got to do. But that made us decent, honest people.
Now I’m trying to provide my children with the same experience, and when they say that I’m ‘mean’ I feel a certain sense of pride. I smile because I’m happy that I had the meanest mother in the world!”
Sometimes we only understand many years later what it means to be a father or mother. And only then do we appreciate all those things that they did for us that seemed so unfair at the time.