"... brush him for twenty minutes and let him stay. Let a dog (or two or three) share your bed. Say the rosary while you walk them. Go to church with a chicken sandwich in your purse. Cry at the consecration, every time. Give the chicken sandwich to your homeless friend after mass.... Put picky-eating children in the box at the bottom of the laundry chute, tell them they are hungry lions in a cage, and feed them veggies through the slats. Correspond with the imprisoned and have lunch with the cognitively challenged. Do the Jumble every morning."
Tips from Pink — of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin — made public via obituary by her 6 children and 17 grandchildren.
She was 85, so the Richard Dawkins approach to thinking about child abuse applies (if you've got any inclination to condemn that "hungry lions" method of getting kids to eat vegetables).
Could you assemble a similarly charming list of tips from the quirkiest things your mother did? Consider the potential for matching the love these children and grandchildren showed and the alternative: Indict mom for child abuse.
The other day, when Meade and I were traipsing around in that Wisconsin landscape (the photo of which sat at the top of this blog for 18 hours), we were talking about stories people tell about the hardships they endured as children and, in mockery, we started listing the worst things that were done to us, some of which would, I think, be regarded as criminal child abuse today. For example: In the summer, I was taken to Ocean City, New Jersey for a thorough, painful sunburning. (And, no, it did not "turn into a tan," as some people used to say — and Meade still says — about the way their skin functions.)