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Health and Wellbeing

My Mother taught me...


... at the age of three that boundaries were for my protection and particularly that hot coal stoves were not for heating babies behinds.

... that even when I scaled these boundaries and fell into a cauldron of hot coals, my behind would still be whipped.

... at the age of four that I could be treated with respect especially when I behaved.

... that even if I peed on myself if I didn't make a fuss about it, she wouldn't fuss about it either.

... at the age of five that even though I was the fourth child I could be treated as an only child.

... that my being susceptible to motion sickness could be a blessing for me, I got to stay home alone on summers with both parents.

... at the age of six that cursing was not tolerated in her presence.

... that even if the preacher used the word "Hell" in his sermon, I can't say it when asked, what was the message at Church.

... at the age of seven that being poor was not an excuse for being dumb.

... that the only way I would make it out of poverty was to study hard.

... at the age of eight that hard work was both good for the body, as well as, the soul.

... that cleaning the church was a duty to man and God.

... at the age of nine that men appreciate a good cook.

... that good food sometimes brings good favor.

... at the age of ten that hypocrisy was rampant in the church.

... that when faced with hypocrisy, just walk away.

... at the age of eleven that getting my period was a warning to be segregated from boys.

... that if boys touch me now that I'm having my period, bad things would happen to me.

... at the age of twelve that even when there were nine children in a three-bedroom home, there was always room for more.

... that cousins are treated as well as siblings.

... at the age of thirteen that sacrifices are made for the good of many.

... that my going to America would not only benefit me but someday would benefit the whole family.

... at the age of eighteen that a mother would get the last word.

... that if the decision to attend college meant that I would have to live on campus, she would back me up.

... at the age of twenty-two that a sacrifice is exactly what it is, a sacrifice.

... that my leaving home at the age of 13 to live in America with my aunt was a good decision for the family.

... at the age of twenty-five that marriage changes lives.

... that a little bundle of joy is not joyful all the time.

... at the age of fifty... that even in death, a mother can give joy!


Cynthia Tate

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