Sunday, 8 January 2017

Mom Raz: A "Good Enough Mom"?

 Sorry, the latest posting up for few hours yesterday but have encountered some really odd formatting errors. As soon as I get things sorted out and I have it up again

I have a few housekeeping items to take care of. Many readers are wondering why there was a photo of a  scantily clad. Ms Dopamine  but absolutely no reference to her in the body of the first installment. Was she included simply for your gratuitous pleasure or did it serve some journalistic purpose? Ms. Dopamine will be familiar to those who have  been with us from the start she is (at least in Blair's Dopamine-starved/Sinemet-flooded Substantia Nigra) a sort of drug dealing Santa. She delivers hits of the neurotransmitter Dopamine to desperate neurodegenerates globally. No, she does not ride a sleigh pulled by a herd of hungover reindeer, as that would be just silly. As per your fantasy you confessed to me last week, Ms Dopamine rides a silk bed sheet. The inclusion of ths superheroine was intended to highlight Mom Raz's tolerance of my choice of content and  writing style that she did not share.
My idolatry of my mother is not blind. It should be clear to readers by now that Mom was no  Mother Theresa. She was  significantly flawed just like the rest of you. If you know her reasonably well you may, despite the overwhelming evidence otherwise chose to suspend your belief. In that case, that's why I feel compelled to present you with one more example. Don't let her benevolent, seemingly compassionate appearance fool you. Mom may have appeared as docile as one of those semi-domesticated pet  elk that Parks Canada employ every summer to keep the more dim-witted tourists in line. But do keep in mind that like the elk, Mom: was not shy about reinforcing a point with one of he prongs of her tiara.

As a young woman, Mom Raz was employed in the human resources dept of a large company. As a result she was able to gather some valuable intel on the incoming "prospects" (I feel  compelled to embarrassingly confess that my 90 year old Mom referred to them as "hotties" in a bedside confession). She was able to collect personal detail such as age, income, make and model of car driven, Facebook status. While there is no proof that Mom Raz ever peddled this valuable intel to others, there is evidence that Mom may have been one of the first to use this type of raw personal data to her strategic romantic 

Once Lloyd had been mined from the pretenders, It took no no time at all for Mom and Dad to find that while they had the human resources to field a baseball team - meeting payroll for such a large squad. was sometimes a challenge. Consequently, Dad trotted off to the Middle East to earn more., typically for months at a time. Maybe Dad wanted to give his family some of the finer things in life - like properly fitting women's mauve cords for his aspiring blogger,  an opportunity to eat normal parts of cow, like other families did - not liver, kidney, and tongue,or to have the means to put some CCM skates under the tree instead of wrapping those limp-as-lettuce Mastercraft hockey skates around your ankles. In the end, I think it may may have been the the horrible spectre of seven insolvent insolents terrorizing the streets of Vineland Ontario that sent him overseas.
Just how she managed to produce one  beautiful daughter and six seemingly well adjusted boys all within the "normal" range of most relevant psychological parameters - while  surviving  herself has most therapists familiar with the case baffled. Several possible theories have been put forward however.

The first theory sees Mom spiking her weekly meatloaf recipe with a sedative, turning us into seven de-clawed pussycats. The second involves the Threat of Latent Paternal Punishment. (Just wait till your father gets home) I don't think any of us took this one seriously. We were kids afterall, anything that was going to happen after the sun went down might as well be next year. Secondly, as long as you weren't caught using Dad's tools, or resetting the thermostat, with most transgressions you could usually escape with 30 minutes of putting your nose in the corner. This meant that you were safe from the other inmates for at least a half hour.  Dad was not as tough as he looked. He was much like an original Werthers. Hard on the outside but softer on the inside. The next theory has mom dispatching us of to the local rowing club to dispense of our energy and demons. This theory is popular with adherents of the sport who would recognize that this would render the boys a bunch of harmless humble bumbles walking in the door. 

Our final theory - and the one I lean toward is that Mom subscribed to the The "Good Enough Mom" model of mothering. This was pychoanalyst Donald Winnicott's depiction of the ideal Mom. In his mind, the best mom was a real woman - ie one who while they loved their children and role, they also were honest enough that they would admit that they occasionally fantasized about running away with the circus - or Tom Jones. They neither over-parented, (mom did not have the time for that), nor did they under-parented (with seven kids, mom could not afford to do that). She parented "just enough". She was the "Goldilocks" parent. She would model good behaviour, walking the walk wherever possible, allowing children to make (and learn from), their mistakes.

So much so that I honestly don't remember being "parented" by mom. I don't even recall mom being particularly instructive. For the most part, the house was free of platitude and we lived by only a few rules. There were only a few Commandments,one being that every child was required to finish everything on their plate - lest a child on the African continent go hungry. I was never bold enouh to challenge Dad on hs suspect understanding of Global ecoomics and food distribution - and I am proud to tell you that I have never resorted to such flawed logic in our household. 

The only other comminques remotely resembling "commandments" that I can recall were."thou shalt not geet blood on the carpets - drag your victim to, the hardwoood floors, and finally "Thou  shalt  not utilize any choke hold as that would be a no-brainer for the coroner.

Yet, many familiar with the "good enough mother" concept doubt it can account entirely for some of her brightest moments in parenting: She has raised six fine men - who when told to "Get out here", would reply, "which flight? She survived parent/teacher nights - one which lives on in Rasmussen lore, as one of our teachers told her categorically, that: "Marion, the Rasmussen Boys will always struggle. So what if he was right for the most part. That's not the point

But Mom's brightest moment, her peak, her Everest, was her solo trek across the country in 1968 - solo parent, that is, This is the original, "vacation", the one that gave Chevy. Chase a career then created a whole new genre "family vacation" movies category. This  saw  Mom drive solo from Southern Ont to Alberta in a Polaris 500 station wagon, with six hellions (including one aspiring 7 year old blogger who documented the hijinks of his siblings on his tablet. Unfortunately for us his orginall fieldnotes were saved with the .EAS file extension, a early proprietary format of the now defunct Etch-a-Sketch tablet. At least for now these potentially explosive firsthand accounts will remain in the dustbin of history.

 Experts suggest that not even Moma Raz would be good enough to survive such a Stalinesque trek solo. there have been some suggestions that mom may have taken advantage of an unsustantiated "good enough brother" phenomenon. While I except that there may be some evidence giving credence to this theory, personally, I would lean towards a "far more than good enough" sister provided some assistance to get the job done. It was Linda after all, who often referred to us as "mental midgets" (Hey, if you are offended, imagine how we felt). Linda's intentions were noble though, and this effectively demonstrated as she had effectively"coded" us before our teachers had - getting us the special academic help and resources the Rasmussen boys needed.

 Hey Blair? Aren't these the same Brothers that you have been trashing in your blog? - and if you are to be believed, The thugs who beat you to within an inch of your life, forty some years ago?" Yes, the same. My therapist thinks that  it may be a treatable case of Late-Onset.Stockholm Syndrome. It had taken me nearly half a decade, but I had  finally found some redeeming features in my  captors 

In some ways my was not conventional in the least. She did not want a typical funeral- with people wandering in a mournful glaze offering creative platitudes such as  "I'm sorry for your loss" . She told me once that she did not believe in pity parties and she hosted one a ways back and no one showed up - so she stopped having them. Being one who would prefer to focus on what she had, has and is taking forward, rather than what has been lost. - She wanted us to have a "celebration. As such, part three will be looking forward - as Mom  would prefer, Loooking at the valuable life lessons that are Moms wonderful legacy.

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