Of Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips, Times That Hurt and Being a Good Mother …

Bara mother with child by luca gargano

“Bara mother with child”

Various times and stages of life often resemble the taste of salt and vinegar potato chips.

At certain points in living the flavor conjured by our experiences leaves a bitter taste that draws on our vulnerabilities. This bitter taste does not ward us off, but rather as with my eating the salt and vinegar potato chips leaves us hungry for more.

As a daughter who is also a mother, I find myself encountering more and more of these experiences, times that in drawing on the vulnerabilities arising in me as a mother, at the same time cause me to look back on times when I was a child, a daughter, not yet an adult, bright-eyed, hopeful and yearning to both receive and give love.

My mother was not a touchy-feely person. She did not give hugs. She often leveled physical punishments for rules I broken.

I can only imagine her intentions.

Her overall goal was to render me a good citizen, mold me into someone, some person-a woman–who knew the difference between right and wrong and did not flinch in choosing to do what was right, no matter if I was alone.

I would like to think she has done that. I am not perfect, but I value and often use the words, “I’m sorry.”

It is important for me to let others know when I am in the wrong and they had done nothing to deserve the results or be on the receiving end of my mistake or errant actions.

My mother accomplished this not by beating me as her mother of corporal punishment.

Rather she achieved her goal, in that I always wondered what I had done to deserve such a harsh form of punishment that not all parents leveled upon their children.

What was wrong with me that my mother did not instead sit and talk with me?

Perhaps she lacked the patience and the faith in such a method.

Perhaps she did not believe in herself and her strength or ability to steer me in the right direction without physical force and harsh words.

Perhaps all of these doubts and concerns left her vulnerable, so much so she became angry and lashed out at the most vulnerable persons nearby–me and my brother.

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