Saturday, March 12, 2005

Mother's Lending Hand

My mother gave up being a teacher in order to bring me into this world and raise me properly. She was always very instrumental with my learning at school and had a very hands-on approach in assisting with my studies. She’s the reason why I was bringing entire to-scale reconstructions of Mayan ruins and working models of the human ear to school as science projects instead of a shitty lop-sided volcano made of Popsicle sticks that burped red goo.

It’s not like I ever really learned anything so much as I just followed the prompts as laid out for me. My entire grade school tenure was marred with memories of “cross that ‘t’”, “carry that denominator”, and “use a ruler”! It was like living with the offspring of Anne Sullivan and Adolph Hitler! But I got good marks and won some cool ribbons, so life was good. Later in my adult life, of course, I wouldn’t be able to so much as complete a task even as simple as spreading peanut butter without somebody else’s assistance or a Task Master of some sort; but I digress…

Usually, whatever it was that I was under command to do was not being done correctly to her high standards and would therefore need to be done again, and again, and again, and then she would just completely take over and do it for me “the right way”, completely exasperated that her idiot child could not handle even the most simple of tasks.

What can I say?


It’s not like she was ever disappointed in me per se, or just a cruel disciplinarian to rival any Victorian middle school teacher. She just genuinely wanted the best for her son - to succeed and achieve higher levels of education. I just wanted Jell-o pudding cups instead of celery stalks and multiplication flash cards in my lunch.

I remember at times when she would become so consumed in my school assignments, on my behalf of course, that she would just eventually assume total control of the project altogether and I could go back to watching Bugs Bunny.

“No, no, no, not at all! It has to be done like this! And just look at this, I’ll have to do that over again for you. Look you’re doing that wrong too! And could you please…nevermind, here – let me do it!”

No topic was too trivial or simple for me to fuck up. At the time, it always seemed like nothing I ever did was good enough to warrant standing on it’s own merit. She either had to fix it, tinker with it, tweek it, or just specifically personalize it in some small way before I trudged it off to school for my A+.

It was learning through observation and repetition mostly. After you’ve spent weekends tracing out the raised temples of Chichen Itza, things will just begin to stick in your brain. You may never in your lifetime ever have an opportunity to divulge that the Pyramid of Kukulcan has 365 steps, one of each day of the year, and that it was actually two structures superimposed on one another, but somehow you’ll be better for having just known it.

Even for more serious lessons in life, I seemed to lack the necessary skill and wit to accomplish anything successfully to her liking.

“You’re not brushing your teeth correctly! Go up and down, up and down! Like this! Here, give me the brush – let me do it!”

No topic was too personal or ever to be left for my own self-discovery. Once, she walked into my room while I teaching myself about the delicate art of masturbation. I hadn’t really had a good grasp on what I was doing yet, being so inexperienced in the ways of the world, so it was more of an awkward exploratory procedure of random jerking and tugging motions, generating sounds that resonated off the bedroom walls that resembled the slapping of a wet ham. Of course, the moment my mother walked in to discover me in all my naked humility, the tutorial automatically began with familiar earnestness…

“Oh! You’re not doing that right! You have to go faster – and use your wrist more! No, no, no, like this! Faster, see? More wrist - more wrist! Oh you’ll never do it right like that – here, let me do it!”

Some memories are best left repressed.


Blogger moofruot said...

indeed. =|


That was a very honest (almost too honest) recountal of virtually every mother who gave a damn about her son/daughter. Although, it seems you had it particularly bad. My mom was more into sanctimony and imbuing my consciousness with guilt that I now live in some self-imposed oppression. And if I do stray for a moment from this restrictive moral code, I literally see her face, and like some great, white star, it transforms into the face of God, and I feel an impending smiting for my sinful ways.

Aw I love my mother... but she doesn't know that my greatest fear is that I'll never be as good and perfect as her.

9:31 AM  

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