`A mother is a clean sheet for a dirty bed’

-cycles and circles

Coming soon: elections watch

Yes friends, it’s nearly ten years ago I used the identical proverb–caption for a column as repeated above.

A now deceased local Muslim “missionary” from New Amsterdam made sure he sent me the expression about a mother being “a clean sheet” in a somewhat negative context. Knowing my deep  (amateurish?) interest in our folkloric proverbs he had advised that I add it to (my) “Blood-thicka-dan-water” and “Family-cutlish-doan-cut-deep” examples.

The expression is as simple as it is profound. Just consider the three elements-mother, clean sheet and dirty bed. So many implications are produced for careful consideration-the fierce natural loyalty of motherhood, often misplaced; the “clean-sheet” cover-up and excuses; the reality of a child gone rotten – for all types of reasons and causes. Then, there is the now new-normal – the quaintly-described single-parent syndrome. The mother can’t cope with the wayward child, especially when the father seems permanently absent. (Incidentally, no single parent/mother alone could have been responsible for birthing a baby!) So why all the above…..