Someday when my children are old enough tounderstand the logic that motivates a parent, I willtell them, as my Mean Mom told me:I loved you enough . . . to ask where you were going, with whom, and what time you would be home.I loved you enough to be silent and let youdiscover that your new best friend was a creep.I loved you enough to stand over you for two hourswhile you cleaned your room, a job that should have taken 15 minutes.I loved you enough to let you see anger,disappointment, and tears in my eyes. Children mustlearn that their parents aren't perfect.I loved you enough to let you assume theresponsibility for your actions even when thepenalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart.But most of all, I loved you enough . . . to sayNO when I knew you would hate me for it.Those were the most difficult battles of all. I'mglad I won them, because in the end you won, too.And someday when your children are old enough tounderstand the logic that motivates parents, you will tell them.Was your Mom mean? I know mine was. We had themeanest mother in the whole world! While other kidsate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal, eggs, and toast. When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches.And you can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that wasdifferent from what other kids had, too.Mother insisted on knowing where we were at alltimes. You'd think we were convicts in a prison. Shehad to know who our friends were, and what we weredoing with them. She insisted that if we said wewould be gone for an hour, we would be gone for an hour or less.We were ashamed to admit it, but she had the nerveto break the Child Labor Laws by making us work. Wehad to wash the dishes, make the beds, learn tocook, vacuum the floor, do laundry, empty the trashand all sorts of cruel jobs. I think she would lieawake at night thinking of more things for us to do.She always insisted on us telling the truth, thewhole truth, and nothing but the truth. By the timewe were teenagers, she could read our minds and hadeyes in the back of her head. Then, life was really tough!Mother wouldn't let our friends just honk the hornwhen they drove up. They had to come up to the doorso she could meet them. While everyone else coulddate when they were 12 or 13, we had to wait until we were 16.Because of our mother we missed out on lots ofthings other kids experienced. None of us have everbeen caught shoplifting, vandalizing other'sproperty or ever arrested for any crime. It was all her fault.Now that we have left home, we are all educated,honest adults. We are doing our best to be meanparents just like Mom was.I think that is what's wrong with the world today.It just doesn't have enough mean moms!