… my mother messed with my mind
Your writer would like to offer a couple of vignettes from his early childhood. The
first one is appropriate for the Christmas season and the second … well, you can
As an innocent little moppet I held a deep and abiding faith in the existence of
that jolly little elf, Saint Nickolas (aka Santa Claus). My mother was always there
to reinforce my belief, so despite the disturbing rumors being spread by older kids
on the block, I clung to this loyalty for longer than I care to admit. It was
not until a later Christmas Eve that I became disabused of this notion.
On this occasion my brother and I were tucked in our bed with visions of sugar plums
dancing in our head, when out in the hall closet there arouse such a clatter I
peaked out our door to see what was the matter. I observed my folks removing our
toys from their locked hiding place after a heavier one had apparently escaped my
mother’s grasp, causing it to hit the floor with a loud thud. The prospect of having
their cover blown so anguished my mother that we heard her utter a non-parlor word
that we heretofore did not believe was in her vocabulary. However, I still reserved
judgment on Santa Claus until next morning when many of those same toys showed up in
my pile. Conclusion: My very own mother had flimflammed me all those years!
Another example of parental mind control revolves around the old “stork story.”
Early on I had become aware of a slight bump on my forehead and inquired of my
mother as to its origin. She informed me that when I was born it was caused by the
stork having to wait outside on the ledge of her hospital room because the window
was locked. Before it could be opened the stork almost dropped me and had to make a
desperate grab at my head to keep me from falling … no mention of medical forceps
from that lady. Now wasn’t that a cockamamie story to foster on a trusting child?
Years later, while traveling in Eastern Europe, I observed many of those ungainly
creatures nesting in the chimney tops of such countries as Romania and Bulgaria. I
was sorely tempted to throw a rock at one of those fowls in retribution for the
token left on my forehead. But I restrained myself for fear of creating an
international incident with a member of the, then, Soviet bloc.
So what is to be realized from all this? I would suggest that many mothers’ stories
told to their trusting kids were akin to “things that you’re liable to read in the
bible … they ain’t necessarily so.”
December 2, 2011