This morning I left Ada in the living room to watch cartoons long enough for me to make a cup of coffee with the Keurig you bought me (thank you) for Christmas and the new K-cups (thank you,again) you brought when I complained about you only bringing my kid presents.
When I turned the corner with my hot cup of Joe, I found this:
My heart dropped to my stomach. It’s happened, I thought. The moment I have dreaded since she was born. Obviously, she was standing in her Ikea chair, which is not well-built but oh-so-stylish, and she fell. Her neck is broken.
And then she looked up and giggled the same exact mischievous giggle I have when I’m up to no good. I had to sit down. As I waited for my heart to slow to it’s normal, pre-pot of coffee pace, I thought of the many times I had scared you just because I knew I could. Like the time you were convinced that our neighbor had killed his wife because he disappeared in the middle of the night, leaving all of the windows open and the alarm clock screeching for a week. When you finally got the nerve to fulfill your neighborly duty of peeking in the windows for signs of a struggle, I hid in the bushes and waited for you. Remember? You ran all the way up the street when I jumped out? That was awesome…and wildly insensitive. I’m sorry. While I’m at it, here’s a list of other things I owe you an apology for:
1. I’m sorry that I used to think that pouring pickle juice in your pop or spaghetti sauce while you were not looking was hilarious.
2. I’m sorry that my “help” was never actually helpful. Like the time I flooded the kitchen on Mother’s Day because I thought you’d like your floors mopped.
3. I’m sorry that I used to embarrass you in front of your friends by lying on the floor, moaning that I was dying and that I was fairly confident it was “my prostate.”
4. I am sorry that you sat up all night with me, studying the parts of the human eye and I failed you so miserably the next day when I took the test and wrote “rectum” instead of “retina.” I will never forget the look on your face when I brought that test home with “Wrong end, Amanda” written in red ink in the top corner. Also, thank you for hanging that on the fridge anyway. I appreciate that you support me even when I’ve failed miserably.
5. I am really, really sorry that I got so upset because the Catholic kids at my school got presents for St. Nick night and you threw a stocking together at the last minute so I’d still believe in Santa. And then when I opened it, I cried because it was filled with oranges instead of the cool toys the other kids got. I’m sure that was the worst for you.
6. I’m sorry that I took for granted all of the times you sat in the corner of a dressing room, hanging sparkly dresses back on the clothes hangers I threw to the floor and I’m sorry I didn’t realize the sacrifices you made to make me feel pretty for just one night.
7. I am sorry I was such a horror in the dressing room when I was a kid and you were trying to shop for a new bathing suit. I am so, so sorry for that.
8. I am sorry that I get mad when you call me at night and ask if I locked the front door…even though I’m 28-years-old. With a child of my own.
9. I’m sorry that I was always trying to start businesses when I was a kid, like the shoe-shine business I started that ruined Kimberly’s new Keds and her mom came demanding money to replace them. Or the time I tried to sell our neighbor the roses I cut off her rose bush. I’m sorry I made you afraid to answer the front door.
10. Most of all, I’m sorry for the many times I failed to thank you. Thank you for patiently listening to me talk about my crushes even though you were just trying to use the bathroom in peace. Thank you for sitting up with me when I was convinced that our house was being haunted by Abraham Lincoln and for putting the fear in my ninth grade boyfriend after I came home from our homecoming dance with red, puffy eyes and a broken heart. I love you, Momma.