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Posted by on May 7, 2008 in Personal | 61 comments

Thanks, Mom, for leaving me in that grocery aisle.

“The Difficult Lesson,” by William-
AdolpheBouguereau. Image via Wikipedia

I couldn’t think of a tribute that would fully encompass all of how I feel about my mother. I wasn’t able to write something moving about the bond between daughter and parent, every time I started something this week I deleted it.

So instead, I give to you a list of Thank-you’s to a woman far braver than I.

Thank you for leaving me to scream, cry, and flail alone in the grocery store aisle. As I reached out with chubby little hands and demanded you buy me a bag of chips—you put your foot down and said no. The louder I became, the more adamant about your decision you were. As my face turned purple and I started screaming my lungs out after hitting the floor wailing and carrying on—you didn’t give in. You simply told me quietly that when I am done and was ready to act like a decent human being you’d be in the car. You took your grocery cart amidst the gaping onlookers of the store and left me there in the aisle to continue on with my idiocy until my teeny tiny child brain could catch onto things.

You could have caved and bought me those chips just to shut me up, to stop me from making a scene. You didn’t. Thank you for teaching me that acting like Paris Hilton gets you nothing in life. I have not forgotten your lesson.

Thank you for spending the first three years after I was born in a near perpetual sleepless state, washing baby clothes, cleaning up spit-out peas, trying to figure out why I cried for hours on end for no reason and not going insane from it. Thank you for not giving up in those long nights when I wouldn’t be comforted as a baby. I didn’t know it then, but this was part of a lesson in unbending patience and love.

Thank you for not strangling me when I came up with the stupidest ideas on the face of the earth. Like that one time I decided to pull up our neighbors tulips simply because one of the older boys told me it would be an awesome idea. You made me march right over to that lady’s house with my most precious doll in hand and made sure that I handed it over in compensation to her flowers. At the time, I thought that you were tearing my heart out with toothpicks and splattering it on the wall, because that cabbage patch kid doll was the most important thing in my whole world EVAR—but I realized as I grew older that you were trying to teach me that stupid decisions hold consequences. I am trying not to forget this lesson.

Thank you for getting mad at me when I wouldn’t do something I should. Thank you for hounding me about the home work, the science projects, whether or not I was taking notes in class. Thank you for the heart-wrenching disappointment when I failed—reminding me that there was someone behind me in the first place cheering along side me. When I was a teenager I hated this with the passion of a thousand white-hot suns. The constant push to do better, to study, to get good grades; I did not believe I could while you did. I did not think it was worth it while you did your very best to try and tell me it was.

I failed you in this—I didn’t understand you weren’t doing this out of some sick pleasure because OMG LIKE, YOU TOTALLY JUST WANNA LIKE, RUIN MY LIFE!—you were doing it because you loved me and it broke your heart when I did not succeed.

Thank you for telling me outright when my friends sucked. You always knew; either it was mother’s intuition or just plain keen instinct, you always knew when a friend of mine was going to be trouble. You were older, wiser, and you knew what to look for yet every time you told me a friend was no good, I, like the idiot most children are, thought you were some how trying to take away things that made me happy.

This wasn’t true of course, and I was being the usual teenage retard. Inevitably, the friend you’d warn me about would hurt me deeply and leave. I would conveniently forget your advice then and wonder why that person did what they did and how I didn’t see it coming. Thank you for not smacking me upside the head hard enough to leave a dent then, as I would have deserved it. You taught me to listen to people.

Thank you for being my mother. Most of my teen age years were spent lamenting over how awful I thought things were. It is a shame how much time I wasted before my eyes were opened and I realized the best thing I ever had, had always been by my side.

We never truly got along and we don’t always see eye to eye. But I understand now and I will always love you.

Happy Mother’s day.

? 61 Comments

61 Comments

    • Thank you very much. I hope that your mum will have a wonderful day too!

  1. This is a touching tribute. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Thank you, Kit. And thank you for dropping by to read it and comment! <3

  2. Great.. you made me tear-up in the college library. Cause you reminded me of my own mother, who I should totally thank right now and give a big hug to.

    • I’m sorry! Here’s a hankie–and you should totally do that 🙂

  3. Wonderful sentiments.

    My mother passed away about 10 years ago, but I forwarded this on to my 16yo son. Hopefully, he’ll get the point. If not, well, I’ll help him get the point.

    • I hope he does, I truly do. It really sucks being my age and realizing everything now, instead of when I should have, then.

      Thanks very much for the compliment and comment!

  4. This is completely disgusting. Wouldn’t it have been better to explain to you why pulling up tulips was a bad idea rather than hurting you as well in that situation, since the point is that you were a child and hadn’t realised yet why it was a bad idea? You didn’t do it to hurt the woman, someone else persuaded you that it was a good idea. You shouldn’t have been hurt as well. Why is a bag of chips worth making your child turn purple in the face over? Why was your mother content to watch her child getting that upset and stay quite calm and unaffected? If she wanted a bag of chips she could buy one for herself. Bags of chips are not evil things to have. It may have broken your mother’s heart for you not to succeed, but you’re incapable of developing your own goals? Why must you live up to what she wants, and not have what you want? That’s not a good way to be, it presumes that she knows things infallibly better than you do.

    I feel utterly sorry for your children and hope that they get away from you as soon as they possibly can.

    • She did explain to me exactly why it was wrong not to listen to my gut instinct and common sense first, instead of someone else. And then she told me that actions have consequences, all of them do.

      Second, I applaud my mother for not giving in when I acted like a brat. One does not get things handed to them in life for whining, crying, screaming and demanding it be given to them for nothing. That is a valueable lesson many, many children are missing today because parents are simply giving in to their children’s temper tantrums, teaching them that if you make enough of a stink, someone will hand you whatever you want–I am so very grateful that my mother never gave in and raised a monster-child like that.

      I appreciate your opinions and your skewed view of things. It’s interesting to see what some people will come up with even without knowing all of the story, or, even, the person it’s about.

      I do not feel sorry for you at all and hope that your children become bright little special snowflakes.

      Thanks for the comment and have a great day!

      • Then evidently she explain VERY badly, since all of your “thank-yous” have to do with her forcing you to do something or other, and you not understanding her motivation. So if she did explain, she explained so utterly poorly that she was unable to convey any of her view to you. You figured it out a few years later yourself, without her help. Someone incapable of explaining any of their world-view to another individual has no right to harm them when they inevitably disagree.

        William Godwin said, “The right of the parent over his offspring lies either in his superior strength, or his superior reason. If in his strength, we have only to apply this right universally to drive morality out of the world. If in his reason, in that reason let him confide. It is a poor argument of my superior reason that I am unable to make justice be apprehended and felt, in the most necessary cases, without the intervention of blows.

        “Let us consider the effect that coercion produces upon the mind of him against whom it is employed. It cannot begin with convincing; it is no argument. It begins with producing the sensation of pain, and the sentiment of distaste. It begins with violently alienating the mind from the truth with which we wish it to be impressed. It includes in it a tacit confession of imbecility. If he who employs coercion against me could mould me to his purposes by argument, no doubt he would. He pretends to punish me because his argument is strong; but he really punishes me because his argument is weak.”

        The point here isn’t the specific person it’s about – nobody likes being hurt or forced to do things they don’t agree with and children are not subhuman; they are no different. Unless one or other of you has some brain damage or other mental condition, there is no need to develop a special set of rules wherein oppression and subjugation of the weaker individual is okay.

        • We’re obviously not going to agree–and I’m not going to defend my mother to a virtual stranger on the internet.

          I do not believe that children are our best friends, they need to be raised and not buddied. What worked for my mother blatantly does not work for you. The beauty of being human is that everyone does everything very differently.

          I did not turn out to be a mass murder. I know right from wrong. I’m not unhappy, I wasn’t abused and apparently, according all of the other comments where people have had similar experiences have turned out the same way.

          So this obviously worked for us, but it’s not working for you and it’s not your bag. I understand that. The rest of us are okay with and need discipline from our parents, be it whatever form it may take.

          If you did not wish to make this about a specific person, perhaps you could have not been condescending in your first comment about feeling sorry for me, and in your second comment, perhaps you could have also refrained in mentioning brain damage?

          Thanks for your comments, have a great day! 😀

        • Your mother failed to persuade you, and thus you fail to persuade me.

          >>I know right from wrong.

          I can only disagree, as would anyone who understands why harming a defenceless human being is wrong. What your mother also taught you is that in a position of power that is unchallenged by legislation, a good way to get them to go along with Your Way is to force them. I think if anyone tried your mother’s techniques on you *now*, you would tell them to get lost – and you would have as a child too, except that you didn’t know that there was another way of being because you hadn’t experienced one yet, and also you were defenceless anyway.

          Also I do feel sorry for you – the morality is objective but the OP is you, and your post was about you. A specific person.

          Also brain damage/mental disorder are the only circumstances under which we may attempt to modify our methods of persuasion. I was assuming that *neither* you *nor* your mother had brain damage/mental disorders that would necessitate such a modification. Kindly read what I write before you take offence.

        • Thanks for the entertaining morning, and have a lovely day.

    • What the hell is this? Someone posts a tribute to their mother and you try to cover it over with the typically mindless bullshit of today. Kids are not little people, they are under-developed organisms with no life experience. They don’t want to discuss reasons, motivation or philosophy, they want the COOKIE!

      It’s people like you that end up believing what your little brat says no matter how many people tell you he or she is lying. You, of course, head firmly buried up your ass, refuse to believe your evil spawn could lie. After all, you took the time to explain to him “why?”

      Miss/Sir, If your mother raised you the way you describe, you were a brat everyone hated. If you’re raising your kids this way then your children are equally despised. You are part of the problem and should have your children assigned to responsible and intelligent parents.

      • Naturally you have tried treating children as humans rather than amœbas, and have discovered that their mental processes revolve around nothing but eating and defecating. You tried but alas, your efforts were thwarted.

        Incidentally, how do you imagine that, if treated as semi-sentient life forms, children manage to *become* humans? Divine intervention? Their own devices? If the latter then we ought to have far more respect for them than for those whose parents help them. No, forcing doesn’t count as help. Look for other instances of force over persuasion and note the ways in which it doesn’t work.

        I find it amusing, if a little depressing, that you consider hitting, an inability to explain one’s own world-view on the most basic of topics – whether or not to have a bag of chips is not exactly a matter of high philosophy – and the dehumanising of children – your own offspring, sir, to be the attributes of “responsibility and intelligence”.

        • You know, I debated long and hard on how to respond to the metaphorical spewtum sloshing forth from your pie hole.

          I debated whether or not to point out, like so many others have about you at several places, that you have no children. I considered mentioning that you get all of your childrearing information from someone who has never actually reared a child. I thought about whether I should comment, as many have, on the fact that you are either rebelling against a mean old mommy or daddy that just wouldn’t let you have that cookie or that you were abandoned as a child. I thought long and hard about whether I should mention that you’re one of these idiotic no punishment morons responsible for the undisciplined little monsters we have running around today. I debated with myself whether or not I should even justify your childish, unrealistic snobbery with a response.

          I thought about all those things, and more. But I decided on this:

          This was a tribute to a mother from someone who wanted to say thank you. This was not them asking for advice. The vast, overwhelming majority of those reading this post understood that and accept it and some are even touched by it.

          By the rudeness of your actions you illustrate how you would raise a child.
          And that, I think says volumes.

          Bariguys last blog post..Thanks, Mom, for leaving me in that grocery aisle.

  5. Very touching, but what’s more important is that you had a mother who cared. You are very fortunate, unlike me, whose mother left me at my grandparents while she zoomed off on her high-profile career after trying to pull together a house shattered by an addict and alcoholic father.

    • I’m sorry that life has handed you these things. Perhaps however, it will help you in understanding the things in which you should not do if and when you have children?

      Thank you very much for the comment and compliment.

  6. I found your post touching and sincere. I admire parents who teach their children limits.

    Thanks so much!

    katies last blog post..Well I’ll be

    • Thank you very much, Katie, for the comment and the visit!

  7. Melissa, that was a beautifully written tribute to the woman who helped you blossom into the strong, intelligent, and thoughtful individual you are today.

    I agree with Shawn, btw. If Seien raises his/her children this way, his/her children are deserving of pity.

    • I’m curious now. Allow me to give you a broader picture of myself. I have no kids (still a student, I’m not suicidal). As a child I learned to play the violin to grade eight distinction (took grade five theory as well, got 87%) and to compose. I also enjoy mathematics – I get high grades on all my tests – and I’m a Computer Science major. I speak French and Japanese to a conversational level. As I’m sure you can tell by my writing I’m hardly illiterate. I am of perfect weight, exercise every day.

      Please try and set aside whatever prejudices against me you’ve chosen to develop, and notice that this is not a picture of an individual lacking discipline. Considering that as a child I was forced to do nothing – I did not go to school, I was not forced to go to sleep, wake up or eat at any time other than of my choosing, nor was I forced to study when I did not want to – and naturally as a young adult one is no longer forced to do things anyway, where do you imagine this discipline comes from?

      • I have no kids

        When you do? Then come back and speak. Until then, you have neither the experience nor the understanding to comment on anyone else in how they raise their children. As to how your parents chose to raise you (and speaking from the perspective of a mother), they obviously did not teach you the most fundamental principles of tact, respect for others and how to actually be a part of humanity. There is a time and a place to advocate, a time and a place to speak up, and this is not it.

        If they did a good job, you would certainly know better than to behave in this manner on someone’s tribute to their mother.

        • As I just said to some guy lower down the page, don’t have private moments in public places and then baawww when people treat them publicly. As for tact I don’t think I’ve been especially rude. I have disagreed strongly but then again there is nothing that compels me to agree with OP without being persuaded first. As for ‘respect for others’, clearly my own ‘there is something wrong with what you’re saying and this is what it is’ demonstrates a total lack of respect, whereas Jason’s ‘STFU, Seien’ needs no criticism.

          Also, I disagree that one cannot understand how to raise children without having raised them. I have encountered children. I have spent time with them. I was also raised myself for fifteen years by my own parents. If we as humans were incapable of understanding things without first having experienced them, science would be about as viable a topic as religion. Most of philosophy could not possibly have happened. In fact there would have been more or less no improvement at all since humans first evolved. So I’m sure it can’t be right that I cannot understand what it’s like to interact with a human younger than myself without first having popped one out of me.

        • I was also raised myself for fifteen years by my own parents.

          …you’re fifteen?

          Oh, dear. Go back and wait until your brain has had just a little more time to develop. Have a good day, and leave the discussions for the adults, to the adults, you speshul snowflake you.

      • This right here explains it.

        “I have no kids, myself still a student.” This right here expresses the -fact- that this woman lacks the mental maturity to understand and comprehend and realize that just because it’s in a text or because she’s seen it on TV that she is not an authority.

        All parentless women have these ideals about how they’d raise their kids, that everything is set by a clock and just like television, she’ll not have to worry about any such things as dirty diapers, 2 am feedings or even anything remotely disgusting as a diaper rash, vomit or fever.

        This woman is the kind of person who’d let her kid wallow in a seizure while praying for Jesus to save her baby.

    • Thank you, Eve. Coming from not just a friend but a mother, I appreciate your comment and your compliments more than I’m able to put into words.

    • Hey Jason! Thanks so very much for commenting to this and the compliment! My mother is a wonderful woman and I am so glad to have her! <3

    • “STFU”: I just love how you handle criticism.

      Also, if someone wants to bring up a subjective point of view and have it go uncriticised, don’t post it on the internet. If you do you have no right to expect what you’re saying to go unchallenged. (Of course you don’t IRL either, but it’s triply so on the ‘net.)

      Private moments should not be had on a public forum: public forums are for public things.

  8. Mel, your mother was wise, and obviously taught you how to stand firm even in the face of bullshit liberal criticism by someone who missed the fact that we are raising children, not robots.

    My youngest stepson is a prime example of a child who knew no boundaries, and who was spoiled rotten. He’s now in middle-school, almost high school, and still acts like he’s five. He still demands special meals be made for him, rather than the adage, “Eat what’s put in front of you, or go without.” Contrasted to my oldest stepson, whose formative years were spent with my husband, and the boy is nineteen, has a job, his own apartment and is wise in money and in common sense.

    Both of my own children have been growing up with a mother, not a best friend. And both of them (as anyone with eyes can see from pictures) are happy, healthy, active babies who are learning what it is to be respectful to others, and still firm in their own rights.

    Kudos to your Mom, kudos to you, and to heck with Seien — we’ll see which kids, theirs or ours, are the ones being sent to prison because they never learned proper action = consequence.

    • Thank you, SL, for seeing the message I was attempting to write. I appreciate what you are doing as a mother and as a woman!

      And, good to read you here!

    • Liberal? I’m a neocon when last I checked. 😛

      “Eat what’s put in front of you” is a bad way to treat food. You might be able to think of something better to eat. Personally I think I always ate whatever it was Dad cooked (stopping when I was full, of course, because eating more than you want to eat leads to obesity) until it occurred to me that I could cook my own damn food. Demanding that meals be made for you is an imposition, but demanding that a person eat what you want them to eat is just as much of one. Why doesn’t he just cook his own food?
      My boyfriend has a job and his own apartment and is 19 years old. He agrees with me on all these topics.

      One would imagine that ‘going to prison is undesirable’ ought to be a very easy thing to explain without having to resort to force. (also, isn’t prison a place where you’re forced to do certain things and certain times whether or not you like it/want to, in the hope that at the end of it you’ll be a better person? Somewhat like the manner of child-raising you advocate, in fact?)

      I think I *count* as one of these kids. I was raised in the manner *I* advocate. I’m fairly sure I exhibit no criminal tendencies. What evidence do you have that crime corresponds to coercion in childhood? The stats I’ve seen tend to correlate crime-poverty the closest.

      • So, according to you I should not publicly proclaim my love for a parent because that opens me up to have some random person show up and tell me how incorrect I am for sharing that affection with the world?

        And, according to you, there is nothing at all incorrect with showing up in a tribute thread to a parent, calling their idea of raising a child disgusting and by proxy–insinuating that the child grew up to be disgusting too, and then commencing commentary of a nature that reads as thinly veiled insults about a subject they know nothing about AND attempting to stir up further debate on the subject with women who obviously have had children and are raising them? Ask any of these ladies, they will tell you adamantly that encountering children is nothing akin to raising them day in, day out, twenty four seven for eighteen to twenty years of your life.

        You have essentially come into my space on the internet, dropped trouser, and crapped all over something I created and have the gall to look about incredulously when everyone has called you out on being a heathen for doing so.

        I have done my best to be polite in the face of unbelievable attitude and insults to a parent I consider beloved–and you expect me to be able to hold you in any kind of regard or to consider anything you have to say beyond that as holding some sort of value? You expect me to respect you after that?

        What planet, exactly, were you born on?

        I have tolerated your amazing ability to be completely obtuse, but I grow tired of it. If you see nothing wrong with what you did, then please, be triumphant. Take your victory, quietly to your corner of the internet and move on. I promise I won’t find where ever that is and find posts about your mother in order to tell you how disgusting she is.

        I am asking you politely to leave it be and save what little face you have left. Any further commentary from you will be considered as and marked as spam.

        This is MY web blog. It is public in so far as people are welcome here as long as they are respectful. Calling my mother’s ways of raising her daughter on her tribute post is not respectful. It stinks, and quite frankly, so do you.

        Thanks for reminding me of another lesson my mother taught me: common sense and respect.

        • She’s fifteen, Mel. She doesn’t even know herself, yet, let alone how to understand or appreciate others. Hopefully, a few years down the road in the real world will give her some perspective that she is sorely lacking right now.

        • My boyfriend has a job and his own apartment and is 19 years old.

          She’s apparently fifteen with a nineteen year old boyfriend. What’s that say? (Other than the obvious cracks about him robbing a cradle?)It says we have a childless or childfree couple that want to tell the world how to raise their kids. Isn’t that always the way? The ones that don’t know what it’s like firsthand 24/7/365 want to tell those of us that do that we are doing it all wrong?

          I bet she was never spanked as a kid either. Funny thing, spanking pretty much gets outlawed and the kids that don’t get them become outlaws. Kinda like that “when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have them” thing.

          I have three children and by no means consider myself an expert. I have four grandchildren. The younger of my daughters decided that her father and I were geniuses when she learned she was pregnant with her first. She learned that there had indeed been reasons for the much hated house rules we had laid down. It was then that we realized that she had turned out well after all.

          Other than the fact than you genuinely love your mother, Mel, the point I got from your post is that some children have to learn by experience. Some of them are bound and determined to touch the hot stove no matter how many times we tell them, “No!”

          “Mean moms” tend to raise better people, not children, people. As Jacqueline Kennedy said, “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.” You learned the lessons your mom wanted you to, therefore, she did not bungle the job.

        • In one of her posts, (Which, after asking her to discontinue by the way–she continued and came back to reply twice more.) that I marked as spam, she claimed to be twenty and has called those calling her fifteen: ageists.

          Lovely girl, that.

          Thank you Cathy, for coming over and commenting. I agree with you that some times parents have to get “mean” to get the point across, otherwise some kids just will not listen. I know I probably wouldn’t have and I most probably wouldn’t have learned anything at all.

        • Still, she says she was raised by her parents for only 15 years, so I would say they didn’t do a very good job! (Unless they’re dead in which case I take it back, but still…)

        • I’m not sure really what fueled this sort of oddity that happened here, but I’m just really thankful she’s decided to give it a rest here. What she does on her own journal is of course, her own business.

          And heeeey, good to see you over here too! Thanks for coming over to comment! <3

  9. This is a beautiful tribute to a woman who sounds absolutely wonderful.

    I do not have children myself yet, but I’ll soon be married, I have several nieces and nephews and I have worked for many years in day care. Not enough parents take the stance of putting their foot down and actually teaching their children morality and respect. You seem to be a shining example of what assertive parenting can produce. I have seen far too many whiny brats in my life and far too many whiny parents who’d rather spoil their children into obedience instead of actually doing some parenting.

    I would like to say to Seien: No one cares how ‘perfect’ you are and frankly I’m not inclined to believe you. Welcome to the intarwebz where everyone can claim to speak ten languages, be beautiful and thin. So please, shut up. The argument of ‘It’s in public hurr!’ is not a very good one. It just makes you look like a pissed off ten year old with a spell checker.

    • Ari, thank you so much for your compliment and coming by to read. While you do not have children, and this may not mean much coming from me–I do think that should you choose to have them you will do a fine job.

      I can’t imagine that it’s easy and I am so sure that there will be rough patches, but you seem to have your head on straight and that’s all that matters 🙂 And a good sense of humor :p

  10. I believe, that this post is absolutely beautiful. Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman. This post actually reminds me of my mother. Thanks for that.

    And as everyone else has, on the Seien note: If you were raised in such an obviously ‘right’ and ‘perfect’ way, then where, may I ask, is your sense of respect. Just because you disagree with something doesn’t give you the right to vandalize it with your opinions…even more so when it’s a tribute for someones mother. Want to rant about how disgusting it was, do it on your own blog perhaps?

    • Hey you! Thank you SO much for coming over to comment!

      I am flattered and very touched you think so and hope that my mother does too. My mother is a great lady with a kick-ass sense of humor I am proud to have inherited!

  11. You’re a very lucky woman. The world should be full of mothers just like yours.

    • Heeeey! You made it over here! Yaaaay!

      Thank you, Ehz. Some day there will be a little boy or little girl who will be just as lucky to have a mother like you. <3

  12. Hey Mel! Lovely article 🙂 Your mum clearly knew her stuff as she’s raised a wonderful, smart, witty person who understands how to express herself.

    • Hey Almagill! Good to see you over here, too! Thanks so much for the compliment on my mother! Honestly, how the woman was able to raise me I’ll never know. I’m just so lucky she did! <3

  13. Even though it was said above, I’ll say it again – what an amazingly wonderful tribute to your mom! I’ll bet that her knowing that really makes her day.

    I always tell my kids, I’m not your friend, I’m far and away superior to any friend you might have – I’m your mom. My goal is to raise you to be the best possible person and if that means you have to deal the the stark honest truth, better you hear it from me instead of the unfeeling world.

    Kudos again for a super super post. I really enjoyed your writing style.

    Best wishes,

    Barbara

    • Thank you very much, Barbara, I appreciate you saying it! I hope it made her day. I know that it’s not much in comparison to all that she’s given me, but I think it’s a good start. 🙂

      Thank you too, for the compliment on the writing!

  14. Firstly, Melissa’s mom is a super lady! Not only did she raise Melissa mostly alone (Melissa’s dad was in the military for eons) She raised Melissa while suffering from severe insulin dependent diabetes plus the major side effects caused by diabetes.

    I can attest factually that A) Melissa was and is an overall great kid and B) Her mother was and IS a great mother, wife, and whenever necessary, a friend to Melissa.

    Fortunately, she didn’t write anything about her Dad. He’s a mean cantankerous and vindictive SOB who is hard headed enough to come down South of the Border, track someone down and kick their butt for insulting his wife AND best friend.

    Incidentally, Melissa’ Dad also taught her the following mantras:

    1: – If you can’t find anything good to say about anybody or anything, t’is best to keep quiet, especially if one has no idea of what they speak.

    2: – Most times it is better to keep one’s big yap shut and to be thought of as an idiot, then to open one’s mouth and remove any doubt.

    3: – Opinions are like sphincter muscles, everybody has one. Prior to expressing your opinion, review lessons one and two above.

    For those that don’t know, |Melissa has a 10 year old brother. He’s being raised in exactly the same manner Melissa was raised. He’s doing quite well, he has his chores, he earns his allowance ( there is no free ride in life); neither his Mom nor his Dad cleans his room or makes his bed. He’s been doing it since he was 5 years old.

    He is doing very, very well in school, he’s been complimented by all his teachers on his manners, and his Dad and Mon are very pround of his sense of self and his sense of responsibility. Incidentally Melissa’s brother saves his allowance, has been for several years. His stated reason? He’s saving for a house and a F150 four wheel drive pick up.

    How do I know this stuff? I Melissa’s dad. And I want to state emphatically, I’m very, very proud of Melissa, The way she has blossomed as a woman, and the respect she has for her Mom.

    I just love Melissa’s musings and writings. She has been very gifted ( You should have read the article she wrote when My father died). Very detailed and accurate, 5 pages long and she was in Grade 1!

    So if you don’t like what she has writ, Go Fugg yerself! (I put that last statement there, Princess so you would know I actually wrote it!)

    Love you Baby girl!

  15. Dad,
    Welcome to the internet, and I love you too.

  16. Ok, seriously Seien, you are utterly ridiculous. What right do you have to criticize someone you don’t even know? You brag about you’re high intelligence, you’re violin playing and blah blah blah. You may be book smart but being book smart and having common sense are two different things. Obviously, you have no common sense and if you were as advanced and as smart as you claim to be you wouldn’t be judging someone you don’t even know. My Mother raised me the exact same way and do you know what it taught me? It taught me to be grateful for the things I have, It taught me respect and the value of actually working for something instead of having it handed to me. I am the mother of a six month old little girl, who is my world and my everything. I too am going to pass on this wisdom, I am going to do everything in my power to make sure she realizes the very same lesson that my mother taught me. Respect. Something that your upbringing has obviously not taught you. By the way, I just happend to stumble upon your journal Melissa and I absolutely love it! So from a fellow geek, I give you love! 😀

  17. It was very amazing until I got to the part where you called yourself a retard. Obviously your mom did not teach you tolerance or manners. 🙂

    • Carol,

      She taught me that there are no power in words unless we put them there. There’s a very big difference between someone who is mentally handicapped and a retard in my world. One of them is not the other.

      She also taught me not to cover my passive aggressive statements up by tacking a smiley on the end of them.

    • There is nothing passive about my aggression. And just exactly WHO do you think the word ‘retard’ is referring to? Who is the butt of that joke? My daughter’s MEDICAL diagnosis is retardation, so when you sling that word around, You *are* making fun of people with retardation. And words do have power. They have to the power to change people’s perceptions one way or another. If you lived with the constant prejudice against people with disability you would be able to see that, but you live in your own little world oblivious to the harm/pain you inflict with that word.
      I think the community where the name originated knows when it’s being insulted, or not.
      Do you hurl racial slurs as well?

      • Maybe someday you will learn to understand that tagging a smiley face on AN INSULT directed at SOMEONE’S MOTHER lacking in how they raised them, and is thus, a very indirect and PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE MEANS OF INSULTING THEM.

        Here, I’ll give you an example:

        ‘Obviously, your mother failed to teach you how to read a comment properly :)’

        Did that smiley put there make you feel better Carol? Did it make the above statement allllll better? No? Oh. Huh. Amaaaaaaazing!

        It is the people like YOU which give the words power. You are giving it power because you’re sitting here all upset on the internet and not willing to listen to what I said and then turning around and insinuating that I might hurl racial slurs.

        I don’t, Carol. But thanks for bringing in a subject that has nothing to do with what you were originally talking about. Let’s throw in some animal abuse, arson and baby killing just for fun? That’ll help endear you to me and want to even remotely spend five seconds listening to you! Fantastic idea on how to present your case and win at getting people to read your comments on the internet! Yes, yes, brilliant idea.

        I have spent a good part of my life surrounded by fantastic people with mental disabilities. Not ONCE have a ever considered the above moniker a reasonable name to call a mentally handicapped person. I think the fact that ‘retardation’ is still a medical term is OBTUSE and OUTDATED and BARBARIC. I also know who I am referring to when I use the word. I know precisely who I am referring it, and it ISN’T someone with a mental disability. Isn’t that amazing, Carol? But since you’re so busy rally your troops and assuming you know, PRECISELY, what that word means to me, and thus–live in my head and understand my EXACT thoughts–far better than I do apparently!– I won’t bother explaining. You know all, right Carol? That must be a very difficult thing to live with all the time. My sympathies.

        My world is vast and warm and wonderful, filled with amazing people who love me and I love in return. But again, you’re so busy trying to white-knight a cause and tell me to be nice, while systematically insulting me, my world, TELLING ME how I am using a word like you even remotely have the right to tell another person how to perceive things, insisting I have no idea about the prejudice without ever asking if I have, that I just don’t have the time to bother you with all of this silly stuff.

        You’re obviously a busy woman policing the entire internet to tell everyone how they should think before they say a word. That’s a full time job.

        The only one that is helping spread hate right at this split second is you.

        For someone preaching ‘tolerance’ and ‘manners,’ you have a long way to go.

        Good luck in your endeavors. I’m sure they’ll be fruitful.

        🙂 😀 🙂 ^_^

      • ROTFL!!!!! My view of you has totally changed..you try flinging ‘retard’ around your ‘friends’ and their families who are retarded and see what kind of reception you get there, baby. 😉

        The only reason the term is archaic and barbaric is because stupid people like you continue to USE IT as a slur claiming its not an insult to the developmentally disabled. It was simply a medical dx, ALL the negatives have come from it being used as an insult. When I hear ‘retardation’ or ‘Down Syndrome” I think of my daughter and have nothing but love an respect for her. There is no negative connotation to the word except the one given to it by people like YOU who use her medical dx as a way to insult other people and make my daughter feel stupid.

        Say what ever YOU want- when you say retard, you ARE insulting anyone who has a developmental disability. Soon ‘developmental Disability’ or “learning disabled’ will be the new ‘retard’ in fact, have already heard it used as an insult on Grey’s Anatomy just this season- course I am sure they weren’t referring to MY daughter with the slur, but some other retard. 😉

        Using that word is *exactly* the same as using a racial slur, has the *exact* same power. Using that word is referring to someone with a developmental disability and all of us in the DD community know it in spades and also know the power it holds with regards to getting opportunity for our kids. Anyone who uses it, is NOT a warm person, and that goes double when you are told how the people for whom the name is referring to receive that word.

        http://wn.com/The_New_R-word_is_Respect
        http://davehingsburger.blogspot.com/2008/08/r-rated.html

        http://www.specialolympics.org/spread-the-word-to-end-the-word_resources.aspx

        http://www.disabilityisnatural.com/images/PDF/semantics.pdf

        If you *still* think retard is not an insult/racial slur at people with a DD, just start googling retard and see how it’s used.

        You are the epitome of ignorance and arrogance to tell someone who lives this that the insult is all in my head somehow…and that a word derived from the medical dx my daughter carries is not related to people like her. You also seem to have some serious anger issues.

        • To make this even more blatantly clear since you don’t seem to get it, Carol ;-): You are giving power to this word with every comment and every crusade. You are sitting here and telling me how I should also give this word the same power it has in your life, into mine, the exact same hate. Excuse me? No, thank you. I don’t want that word to have that sort of power to hurt, therefore, I am not going to. I don’t want your version of hate in my life. I don’t want anything to do with it. And the fact that you are over here trying to convince me to give this word the same sort of power it has in your life right now is amazing to me. Why would I ever, ever want to do this?

          Carol, I just want to personally thank you for doing my job for me with this comment. 😉 And for proving my points. And for all the extra traffic you’ve brought to this post about my mother, who thank god, was nothing like you at all and who taught me that valuable lesson that words only have power over you IF YOU LET THEM. And I don’t, and still won’t <3

  18. I’m sending this link to my 22-year-old son. He might be almost ready to appreciate it! (You wrote this with humor and I love it.)

    • Thanks Barbara, I am very grateful that people can see that and that you love it!

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