The other day I watched a disturbing video on Facebook. It was about two teen kids who take their mother for granted their whole lives, then stand at her grave at the end, learning too late all of the sacrifices she made for them.
The message was clearly: Don’t take your mother for granted.
But the whole time I was watching this long-suffering mother get shat upon by her bratty kids, the more I wanted to smack her.
Not the kids, her. (Well, yes, the kids too, but mostly her.)
Why is she putting up with this? Why is she enabling this behavior? Why doesn’t she say: “Yo ingrates, put down your goddamn phones and listen to me.”
Why is she allowing herself to be treated so shabbily? Why doesn’t she call them out, school them in empathy, and compassion for her, and by extension all people? Why is she letting these brats get away with this shit?
Isn’t it her job as a parent to teach these lessons?
It was hard to watch. Are there really parents who let their children get away with abusing them? I don’t think any parents I know would stand for that.
So why is this video all over FB with thousands of shares?
Ostensibly, it was aimed to jolt kids awake. To tell them, “Hey wake up before it’s too late and your mother is dead and all you’re left with is this heavy ball of regret you’ll have to shoulder forever.”
But if I could reshoot this video, I’d show the mother commandeering the phones, sitting down and telling these kids that she’s their mother, not their slave. I see them then pitching in, helping out, beginning to understand how it feels to walk in their mother’s shoes.
I’d keep the graveyard scene, but standing next to it would be two adult children who are sad, but better people for having her as a mother. Not those two sniveling pieces of wreckage in the video, who may or may not ever learn how to fix themselves.