The Meanest Momma

The Meanest Momma

You’ve heard it before…

Everyone claims to have the meanest, most embarrassing, old-fashioned Momma….but mine truly was the worst.

While everyone else got away with murder, my Momma made us toe the mark.  She didn’t let us eat a lot of junk food.  We ate our veggies…and we liked them, too.  That was the weird part.

She didn’t use a belt on our rear-ends, but she did use a fly-swatter.  I was fairly old before I knew  the real purpose of a fly-swatter.  I thought it had been invented to swat rebellious bottoms.  Oh, the sting of a swatter against our bare legs!

 While others kids rough-housed,  we had to sit and listen to Momma read books to us.  Adventures!   Mysteries!  Books by the dozens.  Bible stories.  Inspirational books.

She read Pilgrim’s Progress to us when I was only  8 years old.  Totally unheard of!   I mean….  Whose Momma does things like that?

She was old-fashioned and staunch in her ways….and oh, how she could pray!  She spent many hours praying for her  kids.  How well I remember getting off the school bus to hear Momma’s prayers ricocheting out of the house.   It echoed around the neighborhood and made me cringe!

Nobody else had to put up with stuff like that.

It’s ironic.  My kids think that I’m the meanest Momma and the most embarrassing, of course…but they have no idea.  I am a kitty-kat compared to my mom.

Once when I was a rebellious adolescent,  Momma chased me down the road with her infamous fly-swatter.  “Oh yes you will wear deodorant!”  she hollered for all the world to hear.  “If you don’t wear it, you will STINK!”  (I do wear deodorant today.  And I don’t stink….thanks to Momma’s fly-swatter.)

Oh…the trials of having a mean Mom!  Some of you folks had mean old-fashioned moms, too—but look how well you turned out!

This generation, today  needs a bit of “meaness,” I’m afraid.  Look what’s happened since parents went soft on their kids.  The crime.  The school-shootings.   The rampant drugs and sex and outrageous behavior.

In the old days, folks could leave their doors unlocked.  Nobody broke into houses.   A handshake was a guarantee.

If only we could slip back into yesteryear and sit down on the old porch.  Can’t you hear it now…?  The creak of porch-swings.   A stirring in the lilac bushes…a purple fragrance wafts on the breeze.

An old dog whimpers as he dreams in the sunshine.  Down the street, a ’54 Chevy rounds the corner, its tires kicking up dust.  Kids play kick-the-can in the alley.  A screen door bangs.  Flies buzz, droning in the warmth of a spring day.   There’s the smell of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven.

The sound of a radio drifts to us from the neighbor’s house.

Suddenly, we’re pulled out of our happy daze.   The voice on the radio has sharpened.  “Three students were killed today as another school-shooting took place.  It’s the second shooting in the a week.  Meantime, a mob of angry students take to the streets in downtown—”

No, folks.  We never heard that in the old days.  We don’t realize how bad it’s become until we view our modern world from afar.

What we need, today,  is a bunch of mean Mommas to stand up and say:  “Enough is enough!  My kids aren’t going to turn out like that.  We’re going to take back our kids…our families….our neighborhoods…!”

Ah well.

Truth to tell, it’s probably too late for that.  We can’t turn back the clock, but what we can do is give honor to our Mothers.  Those old-fashioned Mommas who wouldn’t let us grow up to be hoodlums.

May God bless their souls.

Be sure to tell your Mom how much she means to you this Mother’s Day.  Go to her home and bring her flowers and poems and wonderful little gifts.  Meaningful things.  Homemade chocolate-chip cookies.

Photos and mementos from the past—things that stir up her memories.  Let her sit on the porch swing and sip tea as the butterflies flit in the sunshine and the flies buzz.

Folks—give your old-fashioned Momma the best old-fashioned Mother’s Day ever!

But ….look out for her fly-swatter!

Vicki O'Neal


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