Mother was a very kind and caring mother in every respect. She cared about each of us every minute of her life. She was strict in many things but patient while we learned. She was quick to see the vulnerability of each of us and dealt with accordingly.
I recall one instance where I deserved more punishment than I got but being a teenager and quick to be angry , I think Mom saw the signs of rebellion in me and solved the problem this way.
Mom had told us all to NOT EAT HER STRAWBERRIES just getting ripe or we would get a spanking. We were all pretty good at doing what she asked us to do, but this time , apparently, I could not resist. Some one saw me eating one and reported. (It would be fun seeing Mom spank one of the “big” kids with a willow stick.)
Mom ask us who had been eating her strawberries and some one said it was me. I was caught red-handed. First, Mom looked very disappointed at me. That made me feel bad, setting a bad example in front of all my siblings. With disappointment in her eyes mom knew she had to follow through on the punishment. Mom told me to get in the bathroom while she got her willow. It made me feel angry that Mom would REALLY willow a big kid like me over a strawberry and I was ready to be as bad as I could be from NOW on.
I guess Mom saw the glint in my eye because after she came into the bathroom with her willow she laid 2 large towels over the edge of the bath tub and very quietly she said to me, “ I am going to beat these towels with my willow very hard and you are going to yell very loud. Do you understand me?” She did and I did, and I loved her all the more, and tried to please her all the more because of her compassion.
Mother understood children , more so perhaps, because her own mother died when she was less than 7 years old. I love my Mother and I believe all her children do.
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This story was submitted to FamilySearch by Barbara Olsen Vaterlaus.