The other day, I had an out-of-body experience. I was giving my son a little speech which began and ended with “Because I said so…” and suddenly heard my mother talking in my voice.
I had morphed into my mother.
God knows, my mother has been a wonderful mother. Except for that phase when I was between 12 and 18 and realised that something had happened and my wonderful, kind, adoring mother had somehow been changed into a, dictatorial kind of person whom Hitler would be proud to take a correspondence course from. And three guesses as to what her favourite words during this phase of my life were? Yes. “Because I said so.”
“Because I said so,” was often followed, with the briefest pauses, by “Or else.” By the time she got to the or else, I had pretty much weighed in the pros and cons of disobedience and had come to a decision. Often I wouldn’t let her get to the ‘Or Else’. I would debate the ‘Because I said so’ heatedly. The law bench lost a promising talent when I chose English Literature as my major is all I am saying, since it is not seemly to praise one’s skills in public.
The apple does not fall far from the tree I note, as my son replies to my ‘Because I said’ so. Hot around the collar, his face flushed with excitement and a fair bit of anger, I found within me a growing temptation to slam doors, say that this discussion was ended and tell him he was grounded for a week, and god help him if he so much as laid a finger on the remote control and left those textbooks whining piteously for him to cast a stray gaze in their direction.
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