Great Mother Questions

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“WHAT ON EARTH HAVE YOU DONE?” This is one of the great Mother Questions. The second great question mothers ask is the theological one: “WHAT IN THE NAME OF GOD ARE YOU DOING?” Another Mother Question anticipates the future: “AND WHAT WILL YOU THINK OF NEXT?” (My father rolled all these questions into one—only the tone changed: “WHAT THE HELL . . . ?”) Children know these questions have no reasonable answers. Any child who has half a brain will go mute or mumble, “Nothing. Nothing.” Or resort to pity-invoking sobs that plead innocence, ignorance, and helplessness: “I don’t know (snork) I don’t know (snork) . . .” And the child is telling the truth. Most of the time a kid doesn’t think about what he’s doing, or why. This is the privilege of childhood………

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