My Dad was the stricter of our two parents. He held a high bar for us when it came to getting good grades, doing chores, and being respectful to people, especially our teachers. He was a ball of fun, but he had big expectations for us and at times could be quite the disciplinarian. My Mom was no push over either. She too could crack the whip on school work, household duties, and writing thank you notes. But she was more of a softy than my Pop on those few times, and I stress the word "few" times, that we occasionally got out of hand.
My Mom and I were recently going through her desk drawers when she came across a note that she saved from yesteryear. It was a handwritten note she found under her pillow one night that my brother Jack wrote her. As my Mom recalls he was in 5th grade at our Catholic school, Our Lady of Fatima, and whatever he had done in class warranted his teacher, Sister Mary James, to give my Mom a call. As she remembers, whatever he did, wasn't much of a big deal and didn't warrant more than a "knock it off"reprimand. My brother was and is a good guy.
Jack wanted to keep this little incident between him and my Mom, and so she agreed not to tell my Dad. That night, she got the following note.
There's so much to say here. First, his penmanship. How great is that? Sister Dolores' second grade handwriting instructions certainly paid off here. Second, that my Mom is a good sport and didn't chuck this note (and my brother) out the window for his lovely comment about her weight (my Mom had a few extra pounds on her but she wasn't the size that this note implies). But the kicker is, that he had the audacity to not sign it. Did he think that perhaps my sisters and I could recycle it and use it for another occasion? This is the part that kills my Mom.
I asked my Mom if I could share this here. She agreed, which speaks to how my Mom rolls. She's a lovely woman, a good sport, and, as the note says, the best mother a kid could ever have.