Today I'm proud to again be published at humorwriters.org . My post in honor of Mother's Day, Stroller Pains, can be found on their site by clicking HERE. Thanks, Teri!
Every year little munchkins at preschool answer simple questions about their mothers, and the teachers put it in a paragraph form and bind it prettily in a book. I always say these pamphlets read like cute little indictments. Read aloud to the whole congregation of moms at Mother's Day Tea, you're supposed to guess which one was written by your child. This year I knew from line one.
My precious Ella's book began thus:
My Mom is 10,ooo years old. She is big tall and she weighs 10 quarters.
Yes, I'm an old soul, probably on my 120th reincarnation. I've already used up a few lives this existence by nursing four kids on demand all night long for YEARS - probably look like I've used up this last reincarnation, too. What I want to know is, should I be shopping at the Big and Tall store? And do I weigh the same as 10 coins or 10 American Quarter horses?
She has brown eyes and brown hair (naturally). Her favorite food is healthy food. Her favorite drink is juice and water. My favorite thing she makes is spaghetti.
My mom likes to keep the house clean and I like to help her clean dishes.
What she no doubt meant was that I like to preach about healthy food while eating chocolate with pretty much every meal and that I like to dream about clean houses. She likes to play in the soapy water while I clean dishes.
When she is with my dad they like to take a nap together and they like to kiss.
That was a bit awkward, read aloud and all, but probably more awkward was my loud exclamation of, "Oh, no!" In giving myself away, what could I do but turn to the assembly and cry with conviction, "Well, who doesn't?"
When the laughter subsided, the book concluded thus:
My mom is prettiest when she wears her red dress with sparkly stars. My favorite thing she wears is her green and blue skirt. I think she is special because I love her. I love her too much! I would tell God that I love her.
I do have a red summer dress with sparkly stars, but I don't have a green and blue skirt and never have had. I would tell God thank you for my Ella and ask him to please help her and big brother Berto to get along.
That big bro Berto also authored a preschooler's book about Mom six years ago. At the time he and mama were going through a big disconnect. He hated preschool and was battling anxiety. I was pregnant with Ella and battling morning sickness. His book was more reserved, more accurate and full of searing honesty. It began thus:
My mom is 27 years old (I was exactly). She is 2 feet tall (not exactly). I think if she got measured at school, she would be up to that rainbow on the Noah's Ark measuring thing. She has 2 feet that are the same size. When she wears different clothes, she looks different. Her hair is brown and her eyes are brown (naturally).
Whew! Thank goodness I have two feet the same size! Big as they are, at least they're even. As for the different clothes, different mom thing, I may or may not have been with the CIA. I'm not telling.
I think her favorite food is vegetables and fruit, and other stuff that she eats (chocolate, scones, whipping cream...). I like eating carrots, but I just get them from the refrigerator. The favorite thing she makes me is fruit.
This makes me sound as if I had the poor boy scrounging for himself. Mama, can I have something to eat? Berto would ask. I routinely replied, Are there not carrots in the refrigerator? And then I "made" him fruit by washing it.
My mom likes to snuggle with me. I like to play Candy Land with her. Mom and Dad like to bake stuff in pans together. Momma laughs a little, but not a lot. I laugh a lot. She is funny when she doesn't win at Candy Land. She makes me happy by snuggling with me. I make her happy when I behave.
I played tons of games with Berto when he was a little tike, usually while his little sis Ana was napping. He could beat his papa and me at Sorry! when he was four years old - four years old, people! We always said the Sorry! Leprechauns were on his side; apparently, the Candy Land ones were with him, too.
My momma is prettiest when she snuggles with me and her hair is down. I don't have a favorite outfit she wears. Sometimes she is special, but not all the time. I love her A TON. If I talked to God, I'd thank God for her.
The boy has always been obsessed with hair. From the time he was two months old and could get a firm grip on it, he latched on to mine. It became his "lovey".
The part that pierced my heart in this final paragraph was "sometimes she is special, but not all the time." I hoped that it was only because we were going through such a difficult time together, but it broke my heart a little.
Still, he said he loved me A TON, and three years later in first grade, he wrote this:
My mom's name is Hillary. She is special because she loves me so much and I love her so much. I like it when she hugs me. I think she's best at cooking yummy things (no more carrots?) I like to make her smile by being nice to her. My mom is as pretty as !000 patches of flowers. My mom is smart. She even knows how to be the best mom ever! I'd like to tell my mom how awesome and great she is.
Obviously, the boy learned to be more diplomatic.
Ana, my oldest girl, never went to preschool. This is was what my love bug, who wants to follow me around with arms glued about my waist, wrote in first grade:
My mom is special because she loves me. I love her, too. I like it when my mom hugs me! I think she's best at watching the baby (It's hard not to watch a baby who's on the hip or breast nearly every moment. Still, practice makes close to perfect with constant prayer). I like to make her smile by being funny. My mom is as pretty as a tulip (I love that; it was my grandmama's favorite flower). My mom is smart. She even knows what movies I can watch.
As for my three-year-old Danny, he comes to roost softly on my lap every now and then to proclaim, "Mommy, you the best mommy in whole world!" Gabriella tells me that, too, but she squeezes me hard while showing her teeth in order to scare away any bad-mommy inclinations that might remain. All my children raise their hands when I stand over a sink of dishes and call out casually, "Who thinks Mama is the loveliest woman in the whole wide world?" - especially when I've just threatened to take them to the zoo to live with the komodo dragons or spectacled bears.
Now, I would like to answer some questions about my beautiful mother, my Mama Darlin'. Yes, I'm 33 years old and a bit old for this, but I never went to preschool. So here goes:
My mom is Forever Young years old. She is 5'5 and a half. She has topaz eyes and red/brown/black hair. One of her daughters once said to her, "Mama, I don't think I've ever seen you with a bit of gray in your hair!", and she replied, "And you never will, either!" Then she laughed like a school girl. Her favorite food is seafood. Her favorite drink is wine. My favorite thing she has ever made me is blackberry cobbler. Yummy!
My mom likes to go shopping, especially in Paris. When she is with my dad, I don't know and I don't want to know, but I think they like to take naps together and kiss.
My mom laughs easily, and it's like a tinkling bell, inspiring joy. It's part of what makes her forever young. She makes me happy when she laughs, gives me great advice and when I see her with my children. I make her happy when I call or come to visit.
My mom is the prettiest when she wears her business suits with scarfs and beautiful jewelry. My favorite thing she wears is the dramatic jewelry that I love, looking like an Egyptian princess. I think she is special because she is so kind she would defend the devil, and she can be optimistic in almost every circumstance. I love her too much, A TON! I would tell God to please remember that I'm her daughter, so I can't mess up too bad, right?