Posts Tagged ‘i love you’

That one Time at Kohl’s

It was cold. It was raining. It was late. We both needed to make returns, so we headed to Kohl’s. Just the two of us. These types of adventures are rare. There is often a third wheel, and she takes most of the attention. This night was different. It was calm. It was uneventful. Well, until it wasn’t.

We headed to the back of the store, where Maurmi attempted to make her first-ever Amazon return. Two shirts. Two different sizes. She quickly started in with, “This is my first time. I’ve never done this. What do you need from me?” Behind a sheet of plexiglass stood a teenage employee, who undoubtably hates his job on a normal night. This rainy eve, he was less than enthusiastic to walk her through the process. Lest I forget to mention, her hair was a mess from the rain. Her clip just wouldn’t stay still and with each new question, she went in for a restyle.

“Ma’am, I need to see your barcode?”

“I’m not sure which is which.” She laughed and adjusted her bangs.

“Ma’am, if you just let me scan it, I can figure that out.” Stone faced

“Let me grab my glasses. Oh this hair! Thank you so much for your patience.”

She’s always polite and kind and cheery. He wasn’t returning her holly jolly attitude.

“OK. That’s the small. Let me see the other code.”

At this point, I thought we might have to resuscitate him. He was fading fast.

“Here’s the large.” She presented the package and gave her bangs an adjustment.

“Your hair looks fantastic,” I remarked. In an effort to make her laugh and to see if our friendly Kohl’s associate was still breathing.

Nothing……

As she wrapped it up with Mr. Happy Holidays, I wandered off to the children’s department. I was gone exactly 10 seconds when she came running down the aisle, stopping to cross her legs and wipe the tears from her eyes.

“I swear to God! I thought it was a mirror! But it was him! I was right up in his face! This damn hair!”

It wasn’t computing. What had happened? What mirror? There was no mirror! And then I realized what she had done!

After saying their goodbyes and her attempt at exchanging pleasantries, she had taken a step to the left, put her face right up to that sheet of plexi and went after that do. What she didn’t immediately realize was that it wasn’t her reflection she was seeing. It was the employee of the month and he was shook! They almost shared a kiss and she didn’t even catch his name.

Instead of just walking away, as if nothing had happened, she tried to fix things!

“Oh! Oh! I’m sorry! I’m so sorry! I didn’t see you there! I thought this was a mirror! This damn hair!”

That’s when she turned around to catch me in the aisle. As soon as I realized what had happened, I lost all control. Control of my tears, my laughter, my bladder. It was all gone. We were so loud that I’m surprised we weren’t asked to leave. Once we gained a tiny bit of composure, we finally walked away…..In the distance I swear I heard him say, “Mirror, mirror on the wall…….”

 

To My Middle Child, I See You

To My Sweet Middle Child,

When you are always the one who has to share a room because there is one brother above and one brother below. When you sit in the backseat because your older brother is bigger than you and he beats you to the car. When you wear your older brother’s hand-me-down sweatshirts because they “still have plenty of wear left.” When you share with your younger brother because he just wants to be like you. When you close your eyes and say a prayer every single time you see an ambulance or hear a firetruck go by. Even when you think that I don’t, I see you.

Being in the middle can be tough. Sometimes you get less of me because I am worried about your older brother making good grades, and good choices, and setting a good example for his younger siblings. Often times, I have to spend more time with the younger one because he is still learning to do math, and about subjects and predicates, and has to work on his spelling words. He needs more of me than you do. But when you are quietly doing your homework alone, eating a snack, and working as hard as you can. I see you.

You may not realize it, but you are the most important sibling to each of your brothers. They both look to you as a mentor, confidant, and friend. Your older brother has known you the longest. You are his very best friend and he will tell you his deepest and darkest secrets. He looks to you for advice. He values your opinion. And the baby brother, he looks up to you. He loves sharing your room because he gets to stay up later and he has access to your Dog Man collection. He thinks you dress and act cool. He wants glasses so he can look like you. It takes a special person to switch hats and be so many things for different people. When you share your things and your time. I see you.

When you are feeling unloved, underappreciated, and generally underwhelmed. When you think that no one has it as tough as you. When no one understands you because they don’t carry the weight of being an older and younger brother. When your feelings are hurt. When all you want to do is spend five mintues alone in your own space. When you are trying your hardest to keep it all together, but you just need to cry. I see you.

When you are laughing at a great joke. When you come running out of school with a smile on your face. When you get the remote first and get to decide what to watch on TV. When you get a great grade on a test you studied so hard for. When you push your glasses up on your wrinkly little nose. When you smile and give me a hug for no reason. I see you.

Thank you for being our peacemaker and our voice of reason. Thank you for making sandwiches while I am on a call or working under a deadline. Thank you for carrying down a laundry basket or grabbing the trash and taking it out. Thank you for watching TV with your brother when you’d much rather be playing Minecraft with your friends. Thank you for always remembering to take a shower and to brush your teeth. Thank you for being agreeable and kind. And thank you for being so special to all of us. We need you. We love you. We appreciate you. We’d be lost without you. And never forget, we all see you.

Love,
Mom

Dear Darling, I Need a Big Favor

Dear Darling,

You are my only girl and it is my responsibility as your mother to talk to you about important things. From the time I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed of being a mom and having these conversations. One day we’ll pine over Pinterest Boards as we plan your dream wedding. I look forward to seeing your face when you find the perfect prom dress. I’m even training myself to be prepared when you have your first period, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves, here. I have big dreams for you, my beautiful girl. I want you to be strong and smart and happy. I want you to fight for what you believe in and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. I want you to wear the brightest red lipstick you can find and blow kisses at the haters. But right now more than anything, my darling, I need you to fall in love with a boy band. And I need you to do it quickly so that I can start stashing away memorabilia for your midlife crisis.

If you’re anything like me, you’re going to have all kinds of cockamamie ideas throughout your adolescence. You’ll have an invention idea that you’ll want to send to Shark Tank. You’ll probably have a self-image crisis and decide to have a throw back fashion identity and will hope I saved something from the 90s. You are going to think that I am crazy and embarrassing and the most uncool mom in the world. These things, I will probably not love, but boy band obsession, this is one phase that I will get behind. You see, my dear, it is inevitable that you will fall down this particular rabbit hole. You come from a long lineage of women who have fallen in love with a musician. I had my boy band, your grandmother had The Beatles and your great grandmother had her everlasting love, Liberace. Perhaps that last pick was a bit misguided, but I digress. I promise, to give you my whole heart, and bank account, when you decide on the one that will be yours forever.

I solemnly swear to emotionally and financially support this habit. I will donate my 401k for shirts, pins, buttons and a Fat Head for your wall. I will buy all of the iTunes gift cards so that you can pre-order albums and instantly download singles. I will even subscribe to the YouTube channel so that you can watch the same videos over and over and over again. I commit to buying magazines, I’m not sure if they still make magazines, but if they do, they’re yours. As time goes on you will begin planning your wedding, coming up with baby names and decide whose family to spend Christmas with. The devastation that will come when you see him on TMZ with his new gal pal will be palpable. That day, we will cry together and eat crappy food and talk about how much better you would be for him. Once our sob session is over, I will help you to eradicate any memory of that low life from your mind. Together we will pack up your collection and ready it for trash day. But here’s where I am going to go rogue. I’m not really going to throw away anything. Nope, I’m going to pack it in a box in the basement and hide it among Christmas decorations and baby clothes that no else even know exist. Trust me, one day when you are yearning for your youth and an escape from the pressures of adulthood, you are going to want these things.

You see, my own life has recently come full circle and I’ve realized how important my mother’s support of my fan girl dreams was. In 1989 I fell in love with five boys from Boston. It was more than just a crush, it was an obsession. The New Kids on the Block posters covered my walls. My boom box constantly played their tapes-I’ll take you to the Smithsonian someday and you’ll see what I’m talking about. I wore t-shirts and giant buttons and I was sure that one day I would marry Donnie Wahlberg and live happily ever after. Well, your father’s name isn’t Donnie, your uncle isn’t Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch are nowhere to be found. I am not; however, disappointed. The fact that I never married a boy bander means that I can still hang on to a bit of my childhood fantasy.

This past summer, I pulled out my Hangin’ Tough t-shirt, it still fits which says a whole lot about how we were wearing our clothes in the 80’s, and headed out to see NKOTB, their more mature moniker, in concert. I walked into a venue that seats 20,000 and saw that many women who are exactly like me. These woman are the ones who are suddenly finding chin hairs that pop up two inches long overnight. These same women have given birth to babies and are wondering how did we all get here and why is time moving so fast? Long ago these women had crimped hair and frosted eye shadow and sobbed uncontrollably when five boys hit the stage. These women are my people. We are all the same. We’ve hidden our seventh-grade yearbook in hopes that our husbands will never discover the old us. We have worn breast pads that slipped and sprung a leak in the middle of the grocery store. We have had bad job interviews and terrible relationships. We have lived parallel lives and grown up together, although most of us have never met.

We gathered together, almost 30 years later, and soaked up every minute. We didn’t want to hear new songs. We didn’t want to see new dances. We wanted Step by Step with all five steps, all five boys and seamless choreography accompanied by pyrotechnic magic. And that’s just what we received. These guys know exactly what they are doing. Being able to watch 40-something men sing the same songs and perform the same moves three decades later is nothing short of magic. They came back just as their fans are coming of age. We are getting married and having kids and starting to feel old. We are disconnected from our youth and this has brought us back. If only for one night, we were those same crying girls with black hats and overalls that could take on the world.

And guess what? We did take on the world. We are moms and daughters and friends and doctors and lawyers and CEOs and teachers and waitresses and mechanics and whatever else we ever wanted to be. We all started as young girls and have grown into women stitched together by a common thread. And I wouldn’t change one bit of that. I want that same kind of happiness for you, my sweet girl. In 30 years, you will be living a grown up life filled with pressure and challenge and frustration and you will need an escape from reality, too. When the time comes, you will open the box that I have saved for all of those years and the memories will flood back. You will feel a pit in your stomach for what was, but flutters in your heart in anticipation of the reunion tour. You will belt out your favorite tunes, dance the familiar moves and swoon at their older, yet, sexier bodies. It will be worth every one of the hundreds of dollars you paid for the ticket. Trust me, if you allow yourself to get away from diapers and deadlines and sleep deprivation and you selfishly indulge in one night with 20,000 woman in your tribe, you’ve got the right stuff!

Love,

Mom

Guess What kids? It’s not my fault!

kidsYour baseball uniform is still damp because I forgot to put it in the dryer last night. It’s time to go so I hang it out the car window on the highway for a little line dry action, that is my fault. You have to take your lunch in a plastic shopping bag from Target instead of brown bagging it because I didn’t buy them on my last trip, you can blame that on me. Your oatmeal mixed with paprika instead of cinnamon, I am responsible for that. I will not; however, take credit for any of this.

You are exhausted

“Well, mom, if you just put us to bed on time I wouldn’t be this angry and crying every morning!” Oh my little Handsome, how quickly you forget that I sent you to bed on time last night, and every other night of your whole life because when the witching hour arrives I am ready to jump out the window. You decided to laugh and wrestle and do everything else you weren’t supposed to be doing with your brother for an hour and a half while I yelled from my bedroom to go to sleep. You didn’t listen. Not my fault.

You are covered in something

“Mom, I have toothpaste all over the back of my neck!”  Well, when you insist on sitting on the toilet in the downstairs half bath, even though there are three other bathrooms in the house, while your brothers are also brushing their teeth in said bathroom towering over you because, why would we ever not be together in the smallest bathroom in the house? Someone is probably going to spit on you. Not my fault.

You can’t find your shoes

“The last time I wore them, I put them away.” Your Grandpa loved to use this one on your uncles and me when we were kids. It’s my favorite. I share this little tidbit with you every single time you can’t find your Nikes. They are supposed to go by the front door so that we can avoid being 15 minutes late, instead of our traditional ten. Of course, you ignore me and throw one upstairs the other in the basement and have no memory of either. Now you’re wearing penny loafers and gym shorts to Mass. Not my fault.

You are starving

“Um, what is that? It looks basgusting.” My cooking may not be on par with Julia Child, but give me a break! I can crack open and thoughtfully prepare that jar of Ragu that you asked  for a mere 30 minutes ago. The fact that you have decided that anything red will induce vomiting and there is absolutely no way in hell you will touch the fork that I put in the bowl instead of on the table takes crazy to a level that I am not prepared to deal with. Not my fault.

You are not ready for bed

At the end of the day you need a drink of water, another hug, one more kiss and a short story. Bedtime is here and you need to go to sleep. And even when I am the most tired that I have ever been, there is nothing like little hands on my face and little lips whispering, “Goodnight, mom. I love you.” I don’t want these days of you needing and wanting and loving me more than anyone to end. So, I indulge those last little requests because from the moment you were born, you stole my heart. Not my fault.