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Loving Arms

Updated: May 8, 2020

Anxiety comes with the job of being a mom. Our mother, Olive was a great mom and pro at worrying. When I was in second grade she caught me scratching my head. My shiny brown, naturally-curly hair had never been cut and she loved twirling it around her finger to make a mass of "sausage" curls. She grabbed me and drew me under a lamp to take a look "LICE!" she shrieked, "Who gave you lice?" She summoned the fine-tooth comb and began removing all the bad things from every strand of hair onto a newspaper, tears streaming down both our cheeks — hers from anger and frustration — mine from pain.

One day a man pulled up in front of the house and announced, Ollie, Bob, your little girl must be mighty hungry for watermelon, I just saw her sitting on the corner eating from of a bag of rinds somebody threw out." Mother screamed, "You'll die!"

Another time, my little sister, Susie had a ring I admired so I forced it over my knuckle. It wouldn't come off with all the soap, bacon grease or the old finger in the mouth trick, so mom called daddy home from work. He and another man sat me down on the back walk, got out the hack saw, with mother hovering over them yelling, "Don't hurt her! You'll cut her!" I covered my embracement by pulling grass and before long, free of the silly thing, that man's voice rang in my ears, "Your girl sure knows how to pull up grass." (Mortification.)

For a year we lived on the banks of the Mississippi River for daddy's job with an oil company. Jean, my sister was downstairs hanging wash on the line when she gave out a horrible scream. Mother came to the window and ran for daddy, downstairs in his office. He brought a long, heavy pipe and laid it on the six-foot long rattlesnake at Jean's feet. She was still clutching a clothespin when she was led to safety.

If you have memories of your mom's protection or concerns about your own children's safety, write them in this book designed just for that purpose. Know you're not alone. Every parent worries but sometimes it helps to write about it.

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