The ghost of Mark Twain here to interrupt this post to point you all
to a hilarious post that I wish I had written:
"CHILDREN DO NOT NEED - NOR HAVE A RIGHT TO - MOTHERS?"
He shook his white maned head. "Listen to this, Roland:
The Obama Justice Department is arguing in the United States Supreme Court that children do not need mothers."
He balled up the newspaper in a fit of fury and threw it across the room.
"Now, ain't that just like the government?
It wants to say smart, persuasive words and ends up saying dumb, infuriating ones!"
Mark glared at the rumbled ball of newsprint and sighed,
"But this has all happened before, son. Why I remember when the name "Mother" was downright reviled."
I frowned, "Really?"
"Sure, Roland. Being a ghost lends a man a certain perspective. Things got downright ugly in the early 1900s.
Sigmund Freud's theories of child development were all the rage, and they didn't always paint mothers in the best light —
in fact, Mother Dearest was often blamed for her children's problems."
I nodded. "I do remember reading Wylie's GENERATION OF VIPERS."
"You and me may be the only ones left who remember that tripe from the 1950's."
I smiled, "I spent a lot of time in libraries reading the classics."
"Ha! Pulp Sci Fi writer, Philip Wylie t'wern't no classic!
Why I recall reading his prologue to the 1955 edition of that sorry rag of his:
"Never before has a great nation of brave and dreaming men absent-mindedly created a huge class of idle, middle-aged women."
"Not idle anymore," I said. "As of 2008, close to 80 percent of mothers with children between ages 6 and 17 worked outside the home. That is a rise of about 10 percent since 1984."
Mark's moustache twitched.
"Son, you scare me sometimes with what's rumbling around inside that head of yours."
He lit his pipe. "But it was that Wylie fella that scared pure snot out of me with words like:
"Let us look at mom. She is a middle-aged puffin with an eye like a hawk that has just seen a rabbit twitch far below. She is about twenty-five pounds overweight, with no sprint, but sharp heels and a hard backhand which she does not regard as a foul but a womanly defense.
In a thousand of her there is not sex appeal enough to budge a hermit ten paces off a rock ledge. She none the less spends several hundred dollars a year on permanents and transformations, pomades, cleansers, rouges, lipsticks, and the like — and fools nobody except herself."
He flashed a wink at me. "Think he had Mommy issues?"
"I think that nurturing a child early in life may help him develop a larger hippocampus, the brain region important for learning, memory and stress responses.
Brain images have now revealed that a mother’s love physically affects the volume of her child’s hippocampus."
Mark chewed the stem of his pipe.
"Son, you have a veritable zoo inside that frightening mind of yours. Why, how you could have such a mother as you did and speak of a Hippopotamus in the same breath?"
"River Horse is not what I think when I speak the name Mother."
"What do you think?"
"I think ... Love."
Mark clamped a ghostly but firm hand on my shoulder.
"Remembrances of love are those threads which hold life's patches of meaning together."
He billowed a ream of smoke from his lips and stared brooding into the shadows.
"Roland, it is not the lack of money that is the root of all evil. It is the lack of love."
He stroked his moutasche.
"I wonder what your electronic friends will make of this conversation?"
I smiled crooked,
"Maybe they'll remember your mother's words to you when you fell into the river --
“People born to be hanged are safe in water.”