May 11, 2001 11:00 pm

Introducing worlds

meanest mother

I had the meanest mother in the whole world.

While other kids ate candy for breakfast, I had to have cereal, eggs or toast. When others had Cokes and candy for lunch, I had to eat a sandwich.

As you could guess, my supper was also different than the other kids. But at least I wasnt alone in my sufferings. My sisters and brothers had the same mean mother as I did.

My mother insisted in knowing where we were at all times. Youd think we were on a chain gang. She had to know who our friends were and what we were doing. She insisted if we said we would be gone an hour, that we be gone an hour or less, not one hour and one minute.

I am nearly ashamed to admit it, but she actually struck us. Not once but each time we did as we pleased. Can you imagine anyone actually hitting a child just because he disobeyed? Now you can begin to see how mean she really was.

The worst is yet to come. We had to be in bed by 9 each night and up early the next morning. We couldnt sleep til noon like our friends. So while they slept, my mother had the nerve to break the child-labor law. She made us work. We had to wash dishes, make beds, learn to cook and all sorts of cruel things. I believe she laid awake at night thinking of mean things to do to us.

She always insisted upon our telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even if it killed us and it nearly did at times.

On Sunday morning we had to get up and go to Sunday school while others slept in or played. She insisted that we be exposed to Gods love. She made church and exposure to Christian friendship a part of our home and life.

It seemed to me my mother was a complete failure as a mother. None of us have ever been arrested, divorced or have beaten his mate. Each of my brothers served time in the service of this country. And whom do we have to blame for the terrible way we turned out? Youre right our mean mother.

Look at all the things we missed. We never got to march in a protest parade, nor to take part in a riot, burn draft cards or a million and one things that our friends did. She forced us to grow into God-fearing, educated, honest adults. She did all these things because she loved us and she demonstrated her great love through such deep concern for us.

Using this as a background, I am trying to raise my children. I stand a little taller and I am filled with pride when my children call me mean, because you see, I thank God He gave me the meanest mother in the whole world.

E-gads, we erred

An April 21 community comment column about the dangers of heating water in a microwave was inadvertently attributed to Virginia Wagoner of Union.

Wagoner got the story via e-mail and submitted it in the hopes of warning others. But she did not write the story.