On Being A Mother
By Earlene V. Brown
Photo/Courtesy of the Brown Collection
Earlene V. Brown.
Some times I wonder would we have been as blessed as we are now, had I been a little easier on our children when they were young. I wonder if I scared the poor little ones straight with my abrupt way of communicating with them. These thoughts came after the facts or should I say after listening to some of the grown up versions of some of our off springs’ memories of my rules and regulations. Before I give any examples, let me explain my feelings on becoming a mother. Although I was young, I felt that each child was a gift from God and in a thankful way I had to raise them right, in other words make sure they behaved themselves. I thought they were so great a gift that god might take one of them back, as you know that can happen at any time. I was really too proud of the little things, so daddy thought he should try to tell me not everybody had to listen to my constant praise of them. Barbara, our second Child told me when she use to object or question my rules, I would say, “girl you better do it or I will knock your head off. she said she could visualize her head rolling off down the road or some where away from her neck.
Stanley the third child told me once or twice about how I would caution him about being careful when he went to the store. I told him if he did not look both ways when he crossed the road, he would get hit by a car and then I would have to come down there and spank him. I know all this has had an effect on them because; I have noticed how considerate of their children’s feelings they all are.
The reason I started with the second child is because Raymond just told me he thinks he had a good childhood and here I was feeling guilty because I was so hard on him when I was potty training him. Michael said I and every body else treated him terrible as a child. He said I told him If he did not mind I would send him to Richmond, I thought they had a place for children that parents could not control. I could go on and on but I do hope any damage I may have done you all have gotten over it or at least you almost understand my position since all of you have become parents. I grew up with you and learned a long the way. I think everyone of you has made dad and I both very proud and thankful for the productive people all of you have become. Thank you very much. The four older children say that by the time the three little children, Sandra, Michael, and Calvin came along Daddy and I had become lax. That was not the case, when I noticed how Barbara was such a good help at bossing the whole family, I took a break every now and then.
Marcia the middle child had an individual personality all her own. Sometimes she would say,” Mama I am not going to school today,” and I would wait to see what she would do, wait and wait, sometimes three days. The second or third day she would inform me that she was going to school the next day The main reason I did not insist that she go was she was three or four grades ahead of her class, the whole time she was in elementary school and she seemed bored all the time. Sandra was the pampered child and the one who kept the two boys in trouble. This I learned after years of trying to teach them right from wrong. The troublemaker herself told me. After worrying about all of the children getting to adult hood healthy and safe, the worst think that could happen to parents and siblings happen to our family on August 9th 1984 we lost our youngest son, Calvin in a swimming accident. I dealt and am dealing with this in prayer and pleasant memories of his life. We have enjoyed being the parents of all seven of our children they are a wonderfully unique group of people.