Children Should Be Seen, Not Heard

AlexandriaCMother was religious. As a child she, herself, would be sent every Sunday along with her younger brother and elder sister to church. Unfortunately, over time we moved around too much, so dedicating our Sunday to a congregation, in addition to God, was a bit much. My faith was as strong as the voices of the choir.

Determined.

In reference to me, it left a young girl with only her mother to look to, although the world seemed to rely on her as well. I became selfish, wanting her attention and her conversation as I had seen on Disney channel shows or more directly, the Cosby Show. This was what I wanted more than anything.

During my teenage years I frequently I voiced my opinions, although they were blocked out as if I were still a toddler mumbling fragments of words. I obtained responses on the lines of, “Get out of my face, I don’t have to be your friend–I’m your mother.”

The constant drilling of this concept influenced my very disruptive rebellion. If it was not punishment enough that I had no family outside of my mother and the families of her childhood friends, I somehow felt that I couldn’t fully claim her either. You can say I followed my mother’s lead and adopted my own external family through friends, teachers, and mentors.

She didn’t like that either.

Realizing that I had finally released my grasp of normality, she clinched her role of seennotheard-2authority. In finding my own views of the world I was no longer obedient to the commands my mother barked at me. I questioned her, asking for explanations, but would only receive a “because I said so.” This was the root of my frustration. Is it better to discipline without acknowledging the reason?

I absolutely did not think it was fair, but somehow I had forgotten where that had developed. I had forgotten that we did not have the same opportunities to challenge and question the world that surrounded us. I had forgotten she had grown up in a worse environment than the one I was unsatisfied with. It was from the tradition of “children should be seen not heard,” that I was rooted.

It took me a while to understand the relationships that my mom nurtured and the truth behind her cloak. Throughout the duration of my adolescence, I wanted her to be someone else, but she was damaged the entire time. She hid behind fear and disciplined hard because I was her constant variable. Her universe was unbalanced and shaken up easily, but I would always be her child.

I learned to love my mother’s imperfections and admire her strength. Although her words were harsh, I now understand the “method to her madness.” She would always say, “Sometimes, there is insight behind an insult.”

I am forever wise.

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