Kids can be cruel. One of the things you can count on when the prepubescent chips are down is the love of one’s mother. Now, don’t get me wrong, I had her love. Too much love. The kind of smothering love that forces you to sleep in a fetal position. Love with the intensity of four heavy-set adults standing on your chest. Obsessive love with a squeeze so tight and overbearing a python would be jealous. That, my friends, is the love of a Jewish mother.
After a particularly horrible day at school, having been chided by the other kids (probably for exhibiting some obsessive-compulsive affectation), I came home looking for the support a son needs from a mother.
Instead, I was treated to a barrage of attacks:
“What did you do to make them so angry? “You should have just ignored them.” “Couldn’t you have asked Michael (my best friend) for help?”
She had turned the entire incident around to somehow make it my fault. And, to add insult to injury, she would have handled it much better, of course. Embarrassment turned to frustration and then, inevitably to anger. I screamed back at her:
“Mom, you’re ruining my life!”
With a cool, earnest yet indifferent tone she responded,
“Well someone has to.”
I went to my bedroom, got into bed and lay in the fetal position.