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  I had the meanest mother in the whole world. While other kids ate candy for breakfast, I had to have cereal1), eggs or toast2). When others had cokes and candy for lunch, I had to eat a sandwich. As you can guess, my supper was different from the other kids' also. But at least, I wasn't alone in my sufferings. My sister and two broth ers had the same mean mother as I did.
  My mother insisted upon knowing where we were at all times. You'd think we were on a chain gang3). She had to know who our friends were and where we were going. She insisted if we said we'd be gone an hour, that we be gone one hour or less - not one hour and one minute.
  We had to wear clean clothes and take a bath everyday. The other kids always wore their clothes for days. We reached the height of insults4) because she made our clothes herself, just to save money.
  The worst is yet to come. We had to be in bed by nine each night and up at eight the next morning. We couldn't sleep till noon like our friends. So while they slept - my mother actually had the nerve5) to break the Child Labor Law. She made us work. We had to wash dishes, make beds, learn to cook and all sorts of cruel things. I believe she laid awake at night thinking up mean things to do to us.
  Through the years, things didn't improve a bit. We could not lie in bed, "sick" like our friends did, and missschool. Our marks in school had to be up to par6). Our friends' report cards had beautiful colors on them, black for passing, red for failing. My mother, being as different as she was, would settle for7) nothing less than8) ugly black marks.
  As the years rolled by, first one and then the other of us was put to shame. We were grad uated from high school. With our mother behind us, talking, hitting and demanding respect, none of us was allowed the plea sure of being a drop-out.
  My mother was a complete failure as a mother. Out of four children, a couple of us attained some higher education. None of us have ever been arrested or divorced. Each of my brothers served his time in the service of this country. She forced us to grow up into God-fearing, educated, honest adults. Using this as a background, I am now trying to raise my three children. I am filled with pride when my children call me mean. Why? Because now I thank God every day for giving me the meanest mother in the whole world.
  这么多年来,这样的状况没有得到丝毫改善。我们不能像朋友们一样,躺在床上装病来逃课。我们在学校的成绩必须达标。朋友们的成绩单上总是有各种漂亮的颜色,黑色表示通过,红色表示不及格。而我的母亲在这一点上仍是与众不同,她只满足于那些难看的黑乎乎的分数。 时间一年年地过去,母亲的所作所为让我们各个兄弟姐妹感到无地自容。我们全都高中毕业了。由于母亲在身后不停地唠叨、打骂并要求得到尊重,我们中没人能享受到辍学的乐趣。
  作为母亲,我的妈妈是一个彻头彻尾的失败者。我们四个孩子中,有两个获得了接受高等教育的机会。我们中没有人被捕,也没有人离婚。我的哥哥们都服了兵役,为国效力。 她迫使我们成长为虔诚的、有教养的、诚实的成年人。利用这样的人生经历,如今的我正在努力抚养我的三个孩子。当我的孩子说我很无情时,我的心中充满了自豪。为什么呢?因为现在我每天都会感谢上帝,谢谢他赐予我一个世界上最无情的母亲。
  1. cereal [5sIErIEl] n. 谷类食品,谷类
  2. toast [tEust] n. 烤面包(片),吐司
  3. gang [^AN] n. (匪徒、盗贼的)一伙,(囚犯的)一群
  4. insult [5InsQlt] n. 侮辱
  5. nerve [nE:v] n. 胆量,勇气
  6. up to par: 达到预期标准
  7. settle for: 满足于
  8. nothing less than: 肯定语气,完全是





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