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Turning into Mom

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Friday, 05 May 2006 in Uncategorized

Well, it's happened. This morning I got an e-mail...certainly not the first of its kind....from a kid who simply said U R A BITCH (I suppose because I had replied to questions with an explanation that I can't answer long lists of them for individuals, not when I get 50-60 e-mails a day). I found myself muttering about good manners and what ever happened to common courtesy and what's wrong with today's young people...and suddenly I realized that I sounded like my mother.

My mom was actually a nice woman, reserved and proper and gentle; and she had been a kindergarten teacher before she married, so when we were little, she was great at reading to us and playing games and all those things that make kindergarten teachers so wonderful.

She lived to be 86. In her final years she was legally blind, and tethered to oxygen, so my brother and I bought her a monstrous TV - tavern size - and she spent her days sitting in front of it watching the blurred outlines of Oprah and Sally Jessy and Jerry and the others on daytime television. It was quite an education for her. "My goodness, I never realized the world was so filled with homosexuals!" she said once...not in judgment, but in amazement, that all this had been going on and she hadn't known.

She accepted the world she discovered then with great interest, but she did not learn to accept bad manners or displays of poor upbringing.

Did you know the world is full of rude adolescents, Mom? I wanted to say to her in outrage, when I read my BITCH e-mail this morning. Then I laughed, to myself and at myself. The world has, I suppose, always been filled with rude adolescents. It's just the anonymity of e-mail that gives them such a platform.

Well, don't stoop to their level. Hit the DELETE button, dear, she would have replied, with a sniff. And so I did.

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