|Good mothers love their children, much as the
Blessed Virgin Mary loved Jesus
“‘Puter’s got a face only a mother could love.” How many times have we heard this around the Castle? The Gormogons can be, much like any family, a cruel lot to each other. But no one outside the family gets to mess with a Gormogon. No one.
But what is a mother’s love? How do we describe what a mother gives to, and gives up for, her children? ‘Puter thinks Fyodor Dostoevsky puts it well in The Brothers Karamozov, writing about active love as follows:
… active love is a harsh and fearful thing compared with the love in dreams. Love in dreams thirsts for immediate action, quickly performed, and with everyone watching. Indeed, it will go as far as the giving even of one’s life, provided it does not take long but is soon over, as on stage, and everyone is looking on and praising. Whereas active love is labor and persistence, and for some people, perhaps, a whole science.
Good mothers love their children with an active love, a love that entails at times telling the child unpleasant things, disciplining the child and foregoing one’s immediate wants for the future good of the child. In ‘Puter’s experience, mothers who care the most about their children (and whose children turn out best) exhibit many of the same behaviors.
Good mothers are ever-vigilant about their children, from where there children are, to whom their child is associated, to the quality of the education and medical care their children receive.
Good mothers know their children like a farmer knows his land. A mother knows from the angle of her child’s head, the tone of his voice or the furrow of his brow the external and internal condition of her child at any given moment in time.
Good mothers let their children fail, and fail frequently. This is not to say good mothers do so without thought or care; no, good mothers are there after failures to discuss and guide their children, helping them learn from their failures, well before our inevitable failures lead to grave and irreversible consequences.
Good mothers say no to their children, and mean it. Mothers know that simply giving their children things teaches the wrong lesson. Many times, requiring a child to work for a reward, or discussing the real-world cost of something is a priceless lesson.
Good mothers forego their own good for the future well-being of their children. What woman in her right mind would ever — ever — say, “Hey, squeezing a bowling ball out of my uterus, through my cervix and out of my vagina, even though I know it’s likely to tear me a new one, sounds like a great idea.” No one, that’s who. And that’s only the beginning. Good mothers give up, among other things too numerous to list, their time, their sanity (temporarily) and their careers in many cases. In short, good mothers dedicate 18 or more years of their lives to their children.
And if that’s not Dostoevsky’s vision of active love, ‘Puter doesn’t know what is.
God bless all the Gormogons’ mothers, both here with us on Earth and departed to Heaven. God bless our wives, the mothers of our children. And God bless all the other good mothers out there doing the hard work of quietly and thanklessly building our future.
Thank you, good mothers, for choosing the more difficult active love to share with your children, rather than the easy and failure-ridden “love in dreams” parenting approach.
Thank you each, very much.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.