“Children, you belong to the Lord, and you do the right thing when you obey your parents. The first commandment with a promise says, “Obey your father and your mother, and you will have a long and happy life.””
“Children, it is your Christian duty to obey your parents, for this is the right thing to do. “Respect your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise added: “so that all may go well with you, and you may live a long time in the land.””
“Children, obey your parents in Our Lord, for this is right. And this is the first commandment of promise: “Honor your father and your mother, and it shall be well for you and your life shall be long on The Earth.””
When I was a teenager I found a sex tape on my mom’s laptop. Someone was having sex with a guy I knew He was a married pastor who preached at my church sometimes & went out to dinner with my Godparents. The woman in the video wasn’t his wife. Once I realized what I was looking at, I turned it off & never said a word.
Today, after a sermon on being honest with your children about who you are and who you used to be, my mother called me nasty and the worst person and some other insults I’ve heard before from her and just block out. All through the sermon I was thinking, this is a sermon for people with kids. I guess she was too busy on her phone to listen to the words. A lot of people don’t understand that my mom is a hypocrite. We’re all hypocrites in some ways. I have a strict diet but I indulge in beer & ice cream from time to time. Anyway, my mom pretends to be a christian. She divorced my dad because he wasn’t money hungry enough for her. She sleeps around with single & married men. She denies people jobs or gets rid of them for personal prejudiced reasons like they have tattoos or they’re not straight. She’s a bad friend like don’t call her if you need help moving. She’s self centered and I recognize that because I see it in myself.
I can’t tell if she’s jealous of me or just bitter I was born. People always say, but she’s your mother. AND? 1st of all, my mother never even wanted me. I don’t even think she wanted my sister. She just wanted to have sex. There’s no such thing as 100% safe sex so here we are. So she ended up getting pregnant, and my dad wanted to marry her, and I don’t think she was ever in love with him. She kept in touch with all of her ex’s. I even know some of their names, Sean & Patrick. My grandmother keeps a picture of her and her ex-fiance (Sean) at her house but she took the family picture of my dad, my mom & my sister down. All I’m saying is, just because someone is dumb enough to get pregnant & agree to a loveless marriage doesn’t mean I have to worship the ground they walk on. You don’t want a kid? Don’t have sex, or use birth control, or get an abortion.
So my problem is I guess I don’t care that she’s my mom because I didn’t ask to be born. It appears I was born to be a pretty little fool as Daisy put it. My pastor said Honor your mother so your days may be long because it’s one of the 10 commandments. I never asked for this life, let alone the longevity of it. If I were as disrespectful as my mom claims, shouldn’t I be dead by now? What about the part that says don’t exasperate your children? What about me being a person with a working brain who has opinions and emotions based on interactions and experiences? Every Sunday at church women tell me how much they love me. Every Wednesday at prayer meeting women pray about how thankful they are for my life. My mom doesn’t go to prayer meeting and my parents never tell me they love me. Once I was leaving to go to a sleepover and as I said bye to my dad I felt like something was missing so I said, I love you & he said wow, I love you too buddy. After that, he made it seem like saying I love you was something I invented, “I love you! Remember when you said that buddy? I got that from you.”
Honor – high respect; great esteem or regard with great respect or adherence to what is right or to a conventional standard of conduct.
I feel like honor for my mother would be honor for Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian or some other third person who made it to the top off of her looks and sex and a minuscule or nonexistent talent. The Bible also says to love one another. Are some scriptures greater than others? Whatever the case may be, my mom is the reason I lived in Albany for 4 years after I graduated. For a while I didn’t contact her and I was content. Once she said, you never ask me for money. So I started to ask her for money & she said, “all you do is ask me for money.” So I just stopped answering the phone.
This whole thing started over a phone. I paid $30 for a phone with free service. My S7 edge was broken so I had to use my old S2 which has a cracked screen, can’t get group text messages, isn’t compatible with Uber or Lyft or Tidal but I can see the screen, make phone calls, and send text messages which I can’t do on my S7. As soon as I told her I got a free phone she said she wanted to cancel my line. So many problems the 1st being if she cancels my line I will lose my phone number that I’ve had for 10 years. 2nd being she’s had an active line for the last 8 or 9 years that goes straight to voicemail when you call it because she can’t find the phone & she hasn’t cancelled it because she doesn’t want to lose a number that no one can even reach her at. 3rd being the service is only free for a year because I lost my job & I’m on Medicaid. 4th & final point, the phone doesn’t actually work. So she keeps asking me about the phone & I keep telling her – it doesn’t work. Then she comes back up to me to tell me someone had the same problem (which probably isn’t true because she has no idea that by it doesn’t work I mean it doesn’t have data and I don’t want to connect it to WiFi & I don’t want her to cancel my line & lose my phone number) so I asked her, can you please stop asking me about the phone? & she just loses it.
She’s worse than any friend I ever had. She makes me feel like I owe her and I don’t owe her any more than a pet owes their owner. If she could have abstained from sex, I wouldn’t even be here. For a long time I wanted children so I could show someone love and compassion and communicate with them – something my mother never did. She thinks living with my dad until 2010 makes her a good mom but if I wouldn’t have known the genuine goodness of my father maybe I could find one honorable thing about my mother. When she kicked my dad out, my sister was away at school in South Carolina, it was just her & I. It was the worst time of my life. The only experience worse than that was living with my mom & my sister who also thought she was my mom. They would gang up on me (on topics like why I don’t clean up after my mom) but that was before my sister found out my mom took out a bunch of student loans in her name to pay her tuition & never told her about it. My mother’s response was – how else did you think it would be paid for?
I told a friend once, I think some people have kids so they can control someone or elevate themselves to a higher status. Let me tell you, if you look at the evil in the world today it’s being done by someone’s kid. You are not automatically honorable for creating a life. You’re still the same person you’ve always been just now you have another life to be responsible for. Your child is not a reflection of you rather they are a product of you & the other parent. You can let your best self manifest in them, you can leave them to their own devices, or you can berate them with snide comments but whatever happens is either your success or your failure. Who is responsible for Hitler? Who is responsible for Trump? They all came from somewhere. Orphans and foster children are usually the most extraordinary of us all. Malcolm X, Ray Charles, Simone Biles, John Lennon, Babe Ruth, Ella Fitzgerald. Maybe that means something and maybe it doesn’t.
Right now, the biggest hater in my life is my mother. When I lost my job in February I told her I was going to be a writer (I have a BA in English with a minor in Communications & Writing) & she said something like sounds like a starving artist. It sucks but it’s true. She has a lot of qualities I just don’t like. She’s one of the people that fuel the ‘perception IS reality’ outlook which is dangerous because she hires people for her school. She supports Bill Cosby but doesn’t like Anita Hill. She said she won’t go to my Aunts house, who is recovering from cancer, because she has roaches in her apartment. Every time someone says anything positive about me she scoffs and acts confused. So when she told me to shut-up, loudly, at church, because I quietly asked her to please stop asking me about my phone, I was actually not surprised. She never wants to hear what I have to say so that we can understand each other. Even when I ask her a question she says I have no right to tell her what to do – I’m not telling you anything, I’m asking you something that you can answer & we can continue on with the conversation based on that answer.
So when she scoffs at people who compliment me, I understand – she doesn’t know me so how can she even like me? All she knows is what she is – a girl from Harlem who got pregnant before she could even buy beer and agreed to marry someone she wasn’t in love with & then have another kid and struggle financially for years. All I know is who I am – not her. I made my own choices so my life wouldn’t be like hers – never go through with an unplanned pregnancy.
I have to say, I do enjoy my life without kids. I get to travel, change jobs, move around, hang out with friends, & only be responsible for myself. I think my life would suck if I had 2 kids & a husband at 26 because I don’t even know who I want to be, how could I know the right decisions to make for my kids? I don’t want to be the person with a baby crying on a plane, train, at the movies, at the grocery store, anywhere in public. I’m against vaccines, how would I protect my kids from them? I’m against racism, how can I ensure my children will have a better life than me? I’m against politics, law enforcement, social media, kids with smart phones, and how exactly would I shield my child from that if I can’t be there 24/7, 365, 366 in a leap year, to make sure they live the best life possible? Yoda said, “Do or do not, there is no try,” but most people are see are trying to raise kids and they’re not doing it. The phone is doing it, the tablet is doing it, Baby Shark is doing it, Elmo is doing it, the baby sitter is doing it, the grandma is doing it. I don’t want that to be the case for my child. My reason for not wanting kids used to be because I didn’t like kids but my mom would say, “So what? I don’t like kids either.”
Of course during conversations I’ll make a face & someone will say I looked like my mom just then or I sounded just like her. But I would never do the things she does, like take birth control pills in front of my kids. Or fist fight my teenage daughter for talking back to me. Or declare loudly that I don’t want my daughter to speak to me in the middle of the aisle of my church. Or tell my kid they’re bi-polar or something because I keep trying to force them into a profession that they simply don’t want to be in. Or save a video of myself having sex with a married man on a computer that my kids have access to.
I don’t hate my mother, I just never grew to love her or even like her as a person. It really stemmed from her allowing my 15 year old sister be ‘best friends’ with a 20 year old guy. We all make mistakes in life. I just haven’t made the mistake of getting pregnant and starting a life I don’t want and verbally abusing my kids because I’m bitter they haven’t made the same mistake & are living life on their own terms. I pride myself on putting myself in other people’s shoes. I really try to understand what they must be feeling or going through. But I can’t understand why someone wouldn’t want to respect the life they spent 9 months creating. If my own parents don’t respect me then why should anyone else?
When I was a kid my mom used to say I thought the world revolved around me. Along with saying I’m miserable & self-destructive. For all that, she should’ve gotten an abortion. Let me drown in the bath. Given me expired medicine. But don’t let me continue to grow while you poison the soil and get confused when I don’t blossom into little miss sunshine. Of course I thought the world revolved around me as a child, why else would I be here if no one wanted me? As a child, what world was I supposed know outside of my parents? I was the center of my dad’s world – he taught me how to read and write when I was 3 or 4 and he would usually be waiting for me when I got home from school with fried chicken or lasagna all through high school. My mother was never around. After work she went out with friends or something but she never came home until it was dark outside and I was going to sleep. She only spoke to me to tell me I was inadequate. When I started the 5th grade at her school she would drive me to school and say a prayer out loud. I never understood why she wanted me to hear what she had to say to God. Her prayers were usually attacks on me for being a kid – lord please stop my child from being mean and nasty and disobedient – things of that nature. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you I’m a sweetheart. Ask her and she’ll say the opposite.
Last week when I got off work I called my sister while walking home to discuss what we should do for Mother’s Day. I’m glad I won’t have to participate now since she doesn’t want me to speak to her. I never intentionally disrespect or dishonor my mom – all I did was ask her a question – but if it’s disrespectful to ask a question in a calm voice then so be it. I just hope one day she can come clean about her sins instead of pretending she’s a saint. Then maybe I can begin to ‘respect’ her the way she wants & maybe even give her honor.
“Parents, don’t be hard on your children. Raise them properly. Teach them and instruct them about the Lord.”
“Parents, do not treat your children in such a way as to make them angry. Instead, raise them with Christian discipline and instruction. ”
“Parents, do not anger your children, but rear them in the discipline and in the teaching of Our Lord.”