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Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Mom Is A Nag

Popsicle sticks

Elmer's Glue

Stickers and glitter


Wallpaper remnants





Of Burnt Toast...

I was just sitting here listening to a commercial loaded with suggestions for Mother's Day presents. Actually, the tone of the message was much more ominous than a sweet suggestion. The announcer clearly stated what would happen if Mom was not properly feted and celebrated with a phone call, a bouquet of flowers for $19.95, dinner out at a local buffet, or a ginormous box of chocolate covered strawberries.  Serious ramifications.

Big trouble.


Sounds like a lot of OBLIGATION and GUILT being thrown around rather carelessly.

I accept the obligatory part of the equation, but the GUILT?


Mothers OWN that department.

Mothers have double X chromosomes and the GUILT gene built in, along with a third eye hidden tidily under the hair on the back of their heads.

However, as we mothers age, we come to accept that the days of guilt-free adulation from our children may have run their course. If you asked me, although no one has, I would share with you my favorite Mother's Day presents. The ones I still have tucked away in a cardboard box in my basement, plus the others stored away in my personal autobiography of memories.

Wallpaper covered sheets of cardboard, tied together with ribbon. A crayon drawing of me, basking in the sunshine, a semi-circle of yellow in the corner of the pages with lines radiating out. Inside the message reads, "My Mom is the BEST Mom in the world!"

Or the colored paper flower glued to a popsicle stick, with my son's pre-school photo pasted in the center surrounded by petals. This one simply states, "I love you Mommy."

A small box covered in beads and glitter, lined with tissue paper and inside a hand painted clay flower. Even as I hold it, the glitter sticks to my hand, and I can see my son with one hand behind his back, telling me to cover my eyes, before the big SURPRISE.

I especially treasure the sheet of paper with a drawing of our house, and four figures in the front yard. I look a little bit fat in this artist's rendering and my high heels are a tad bit higher than I remember wearing, not to mention the color of my lipstick and the SIZE of my mouth. But what is important here is that my child thought of Mother's Day and the words FAMILY and HOME came to mind.
I suppose there is a chance that they remember me yelling once in awhile. Maybe talking too much. Ordering, organizing, prioritizing their lives.

Yeah, well, get over it.

That's my job.

I do believe, as I sit here reminiscing, that what gets to me the most is the memory of the smell of burnt toast, the banging of pans, the slamming of cabinet doors, the shushed muttering and the final appearance of two little boys, walking into my bedroom, resplendent in smiles, carrying a tray with a vase precariously wobbling and clanking against the glass with juice sloshing out of its container.

One single rose. A plate of burnt toast and jelly.

I made the toast.

I poured the juice...a little louder. 

I PUT THE VASE ON THE TRAY...louder still. 

Then with a steadying hand from their father and a stern grimace, my children settle the tray on my lap and watch as I eat, chew and swallow EVERY SINGLE BITE with significant rapture, oohing an aahing as they grin like the truly professional caterers that they are. I know, with my third eye blinking, what the kitchen looks like. But with my oversized Mother's mouth, I grin and pull them close.

For me? I say. You did all of this for me?

Now here in the present,

with the popsicle and burnt toast days far behind,

I anticipate the flowers and the phone calls with the same response.

For me? I say. You did all of this for me?

A guilty pleasure.

I am guilty.

I am your Mother.

  The truth is, with or without presents, I will love you anyway...
...if you are brave enough to risk it. 

For all of the rest of you Moms out gift to you.

A sample of MY original Mother's Day framed artwork,

written with all of you in mind.

Happy Mother's Day. 


My Mom

My Mom is a Nag.

A stream of consciousness, relentless where are you going, where have you been, what are you wearing, what were you thinking, when will you be home, who's on the phone, why are you late, when will you be ready, how could you, why did you, when will you...snoop.

She sleeps with one eye open.

She tracks me on radar. She knows what I am thinking before I do.
My Mom won't ever leave me alone.


She promised.

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