By: Father James E. Shea, C.Ss.R.
Dear Parishioners and Friends:
Time and again mother said, “Listen, children, we are not going to have a dog in this house. And then one day he children brought home a stray dog. The kids fell in love with the dog. They wanted to keep it. They went to mom and asked, “What shall we name this dog?” Mom said, “You better name it ‘mother.’ If that dog stays, I’m leaving home!”
As we celebrate Mother’s Day next Sunday we think of the many wonderful ways in which we remember our mothers. Many of us remember our moms as they gave us their motherly advice: “Be careful! Take your coat along. Don’t forget your sweater. Don’t play in the mud.” And of course, we all remember that age old advice…’Put on clean underwear cuz you might end up in the emergency, and no telling what the nurses might think if your underwear was dirty.’ Now, can you imagine the mothers of these historical figures giving their children this advice?
PAUL REVERE’S MOTHER: “I don’t care where you think you have to go, young man. Midnight is past your curfew!”
MONA LISA’S MOTHER: “After all that money we spent on braces, Mona, is that the biggest smile you can give us?”
HUMPTY DUMPTY’S MOTHER: “Humpty, if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times “Do not sit on that wall.'”
COLUMBUS’ MOTHER: “I don’t care what you’ve discovered, Chris. You still could have written.”
MICHELANGELO’S MOTHER: “Mike, can’t you paint on walls like other kids? It’s hard getting that stuff off the ceiling.”
CUSTER’S MOTHER: “Now, George, remember what I told you – don’t go biting off more than you can chew!”
A mother told a little boy that it was God who made people good. The boy said, “Yes, I know that is God, but mothers help a lot.”
Looking back on his youth, a man claimed that he and his siblings had the meanest mother in the world. While other kids ate candy for breakfast, we had to eat cereal, eggs and toast. When others had a Pepsi and a sweet roll for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches. And absolutely no pizza or hotdogs for dinner! God forbid if we would skip dinner.
Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times. You’d think we were convicts in a prison. She had to know who our friends were, and what we were doing with them. if she said, ‘be home in an hour,’ we didn’t argue. We were home in less than an hour. We knew the price we’d have to pay if we were even a minute overtime.
Mother broke the ‘Child Labor Laws.’ She made us work. We had to wash dishes, make our beds, learn to cook, vacuum the floor, dust the furniture, do the laundry, fold the clothes, iron the shirts, clean the refrigerator, haul out the garbage, wash the windows, sweep the garage, mow the lawn and even clean up after the dog.
She always insisted that we tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. God forbid if we were caught lying. The punishment doubled!
Our mother would not allow our friends to blow the car horn, alerting us that they had arrived to pick us up. Our mother insisted that our friends come into our house. Mom had to meet them face to face. And they had better be prepared to answer a host of questions. And they had better be truthful. If they lied it would be the last time we were allowed to go out with our so called friends.
Because of our mother, we missed out on lots of fun and lots of crazy things other kids experienced. Because of mother we kids were never caught shoplifting, vandalizing property or arrested for a crime. We never got drunk nor took up smoking, nor did drugs. It was all her fault.
Sundays were reserved for church. We never missed. It it was a choice between a ball game, and going church, the answer was CHURCH! Absolutely! No discussion! We knew better than to ask to spend a Saturday night at a friend’s house. The answer was always “NO!”
All of us kids are married now. And because of our mean mom, we are all God-fearing, educated and honest adults.
Maybe mom was mean but she always told us how much she loved us and how proud she was of us. Because of our mom we learn to do the right things. Because of mom we developed a strong work ethic.
Now, we kids are doing our best to be mean parents just like mom. As we look around the world we can be thankful that we grew up with a mean mom. Many of our childhood friends are in prison, out of work, bankrupt, victims of addictions, divorced or even passed on. If the world had more mean moms like we did, our friends would no doubt be a lot better off and the world would be much different. As mean parents we hope to pass this ‘so called meanness’ on to our children.
Next Sunday we celebrate Mother’s Day. We remember our mothers who have done so much for us. Whether mother lives across town, in another city or in heaven, it is a time to honor her. Even if your mom was a mean mom, this is the time to tell her how much you love her.
There’s a Jewish proverb: God could not be everywhere, and therefore, he made mothers.
Fr. Jim Shea, C.Ss.R.