Okay, Mom. I’m sorry. After a spin around Karmatown, I want to apologize for all the trouble I caused as a kid. I hope my heartfelt contrition (and rightful fear) will minimize my comeuppance from your vigilant friend, Payback.
I am ready to eat a giant hunk of humble pie and declare that I.O.U. (I Officially Understand.)
Yesterday my own little princess, bless her heart, threw herself screaming to the floor in Target after I refused to buy Play-Doh. The retail powers-that-be display lots of tempting toys in the checkout lane, right at toddler eye-level. Isn’t that sweet?
I struggled against her flailing legs and re-seated her in the cart. My face burned red while I pretended not to notice the stares and glares of other shoppers. Suddenly I was smacked with the memory of my own record-breaking public fits as a kid.
Wow, Mom, what goes around really does come back around! Isn’t that something? (Digging my toe in the ground here.) I apologize, Mom. Please consider me duly chastised by fate, and know that I.O.U.
Mom, I confess, head drooped in shame, to calling all those (900) numbers in 1988 that cost you a fortune. Yep, it was me – seduced by false hope of talking to DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. I’m sorry. (I should also apologize to my older brother who actually got blamed for it. I’m sure he deserved the punishment for some other offense he got away with, but I digress.) Surely this admission of guilt offers me some preemptive reprieve from my own children’s future acts of mischief, right?
And Mom, can we please forget all the criticism I dished on your appearance? Only now can I fully understand the bare face and perpetual bun you wore in your hair. These days I don’t even get thirty seconds in the bathroom to pee without a child clinging to my leg – thirty minutes to primp is out of the question. Please know that I.O.U.
B.C. (Before Children) I was a fit 135 pounds, I enjoyed Saturdays at the salon, and I had no gray hair. I vowed not to be the mom who left the house with matted hair and milk-stained sweats. After all, Sephora was like a BFF to me. We were so close, I nicknamed her Sephie, and she called me Spendy.
Nowadays I have lots of grays. I only noticed because after I gave birth, my hair fell out in clumps. The irony of losing the hair on my head was that I’d sprouted new hair in less attractive places, like under my chin. Despite the beard, I wasn’t fully aware I’d morphed into Shrek until the fateful morning my armpit hair got caught in the ball of my roll-on deodorant. Then I realized I hadn’t showered in days, or shaved in weeks. I hadn’t seen my beloved Sephie in well over a year! The only cosmetic I use now is Chapstick. And guess what? On most days I’m rockin’ that same bun. Mom, I.O.U.
B.C., I got up at 5:00 every morning to work out, but that’s ancient history. I’ve yet to lose thirty pregnancy pounds, and naturally, I avoid all the “skinny” trends. Skinny jeans, Skinny Cow, skinny dipping, and even skinny lattes are no friends of mine. Who cares if I don’t fit into any of my old clothes? (Or my wedding ring.) Sure I could buy bigger clothes. But wouldn’t that be like conceding defeat to the extra pounds? No, I won’t surrender! I’ll just continue to squeeze myself into the same elastic-waist pants, and start my diet Monday. This time I mean it. Anyway, Mom, what’s important here is that I’m done harping on you.
Mom, you know I’ve had my nipples bitten while nursing my babies. I’ve been pooped on, peed on and puked on. I haven’t watched a sitcom in two years, yet I haven’t missed an episode of (heaven help me), “Yo Gabba Gabba.” I’ve fished dog kibble from tiny mouths and plucked turds from bath water.
I get it, Mom, and I.O.U. Can we consider my punishment served?
Now I know why you cried when I was the one being bullied as a kid. B.C., I never imagined staring down a five year-old for throwing rocks at my child. I never knew a love strong enough to transform me from passive to ferocious in an instant. But I get it now.
Mom, I.O.U. for teaching me love so powerful it is easy to forego my selfish cravings for unnecessary splurges on clothes. (And sleep…and sex...)
Okay, so I’m no glam mom and I’ve lost touch with Sephie. But when my daughter crawls onto my lap, softly touches my face and says, “Mommy, I’m so pretty ‘cause I look just like you,” I feel as gorgeous as any supermodel ever could.
And when that beautiful moment is killed by her farting in my lap, what can I do?
Yes, Mom. I Officially Understand.
So please, tell karma to back off. I will repent. I will grovel. I will do whatever it takes. (By the way, did you get the check I sent? It says “Serendipity” on the memo line, but it’s actually for those phone calls.)
I get it now, Mom. And yes, I really do owe you.
Happy Mother’s Day!