Toeing the Line (Or Not)

I was the perfect child.  At least in my mind.  I did well in school, respected my elders, and never, ever caused trouble.

Until I did.

→  There was the time my younger brother tried to come into my room (my private space), and I shut the door on him – and ignored his screams when his finger got caught between the door and the jamb.  Mom was not happy.  But at least the finger wasn’t broken.

→ There was the time I lied to my mother about the elderly neighbor having invited me to come visit.  I was little and the old guy always treated me like his very own grandchild.  I didn’t understand why his wife told me to go away that day.  How was I to know that he was in the process of dying? My mother had a little talk with me after receiving a visit from the gentleman’s angry, grieving wife.

→ There was the time, as a preteen, when I went shoplifting with a friend at a locally owned drugstore.  When I came home with lipsticks that I had not paid for, my mother marched me back to the store and made me not only return the items, but also personally apologize to the pharmacist-owner, promising I would never steal again.  The embarrassment was enough to keep me in line, and my mother never mentioned it again.

→ There was the time, when I had become a teenager, that I thought it would be highly amusing to sneak up behind my not-so-young aunt while she was vacuuming, tap her on the shoulder and shout “SURPRISE!”  Once she was able to breathe again, my aunt had a talk with my mother, and then began locking her door at all times.  My mother, of course, had a talk with me.

My mother, rest her soul, was the perfect parent – loving, patient, understanding, kind.

Until she wasn’t.

Despite her frustration with her four children, we all knew she loved us and was doing her best.  But I’ll never forget the day, when I was still small, when she lost her temper and told me, “You’re not my daughter.  My daughter would never do that!

I thought she meant it.  I thought perhaps I was adopted.  I thought she wanted me to leave.  My teary response was, “Well, then whose daughter am I?”

Even very angry mothers can set aside their emotions to comfort a traumatized child.

As I said,  my mother was the perfect parent.  I can only hope I was as good a mom to my own kids, but like all moms I’m only human.  Like all moms, I did my best, but there were times …

Hopefully, the kids weren’t traumatized too badly.

May your family life be peaceful and loving at all times.  Unless, of course, you’re human – in which case, may you and your family survive all the ups and downs and become better people for it.

Hugs to all of you from Cordelia’s Mom.

I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at
Image by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalie Studio


This entry was posted in Relationships, That's Life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Toeing the Line (Or Not)

  1. Tippy Gnu says:

    Sounds like you had a mother who cared. Those talks must have been all that was needed to set you straight, so she must have been pretty smart, also.


  2. willowdot21 says:

    My dear Sis you speak so much sense !💜💜


  3. Dan Antion says:

    Children (and moms) are only human.


  4. joey says:

    That was a cute post 🙂


  5. That was a beautiful tribute to several very human people bound together by love! My father was a narcissist and did emotional damage (which in several cases manifested itself in physical damage) to every member of our family. But as an adult, I realize that, having never received a diagnosis or treatment, he was doing the best that he could with what he had. There is great healing in that for me…

    Liked by 1 person

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