what i really want for mother's day


is this what you wanted?
is it?
take a good long look
drink it in
looks like
she got a special mother's day treat

Especially the ones about little boys who grow into handsome and kind young men with dimples who still bring their mother flowers and need her help tying a tie for the big day, and who lead her out onto the dance floor at the wedding for a mother-son dance and whisper "I love you, Mommy" in her ear and


For real, you guys. Who decided that what mothers needed most was MORE SHIT TO CRY OVER??? We've already got lead to stay awake over, earthquakes to worry about, our baby's kisses to move us to tears, our toddler coming home from school whispering into his chest, "I don't think my friends like me anymore."

I'm not the Grinch, okay? My heart doesn't need to grow three sizes today. Slow your fucking roll.

Which marketing juggernaut was like, "wait wait wait wait I got it y'all. This Mother's Day let's remind moms how brief and precious their time is with their children, how fast it all goes, how it feels like only a day goes by between the first gummy smile and the nervous grin on the first day of school with a backpack that is empty but for a stuffed tiger..."


Seriously! Whose idea was it? Was it you, Fay? It was, wasn't it?

You're the one who came up with the concept of the beautifully-shot montage of a sleeping little boy: first he's a baby bundled on his mother's chest, a tiny smile curving his perfect lips. Then a toddler, a limp sack of limbs being carried to bed on his mother's shoulder. The next shot is the teenager, asleep in bed, who never knows that his mother comes into the room, tucks the kicked-off covers up to his chin, and kisses his forehead, lingering long enough to breathe in the smell of his hair


I don't even click on the videos. They start playing automatically, muted, and even without sound I can't help but pause. You designed them to be arresting. Well done you.

But seriously, I KNOW. I already KNOW that watching them grow up is terrible ecstasy, beautiful agony. I already KNOW how much it hurts to see your child outgrow peek-a-boo, the way you refuse to believe it and can't really talk about it the first time you pat your lap for story time and he says, "I think I'll sit next to you this time, Mommy." No! No! No! Not yet! 

I KNOW, OKAY? It breaks my heart every fucking day, how much I love them, how terribly gone yesterday is, how terribly gone today is about to be.

If I want to cry all I have to do is sit down and THINK ABOUT THE TWO WILD AND PRECIOUS LOVES OF MY LIFE, and if you count backwards from 10 I'll be open-mouthed sobbing by the time you hit 6.

Chicken asked me if he would ever be as tall as me. I said, "someday you'll even be taller," and he said, "and then I'll stroke your hair."

Buster looked up when I walked into the room, smiled, and sighed, "Mommy." He walked to me, slowly but directly, and sagged onto my legs, wrapping his arms around my calves. He looked up at me and said, "home."



You got it? I KNOW someday they'll be sullen and secretive and masturbating in the bathroom while the shower runs into the empty stall. I KNOW someday they'll get drunk or high. I KNOW someday someone will say, "let's jump into the lake from this tree," and I won't be there to hold their hands and keep them on the earth and they'll have to decide. I KNOW.

I don't NEED YOU to craft a fucking infomercial to tell me that they're the only thing that I could not live without. I don't NEED YOU to tell me that they make me so fucking crazy and so fucking happy, okay?

I don't NEED YOU to reassure me that all of the late nights of rocking, all of the messes and tantrums and midnight runs to urgent care and midnight kitchen table conferences with my husband to figure out how we can afford all the things for the children and all the thousands of heartbreaking mistakes and devastating fights and paralyzing fears, that it's all - that they're all so fucking WORTH IT, okay? I KNOW.

So this year, for Mother's Day, all I really want is for you to stop making me cry.

Thank you very much.


1 comment:

  1. As a father I can only add, this sort of thing happen to Dads, too. Some things are a bit different (of course) but so many things are the same. One advantage is when you don't have any idea what to get a Dad, you can always give him a tie. (Of course, I've never been seen in a tie, pretty much always a t-shirt...)

    If I never had had kids, I would not have the precious, wonderful memories I have of them. The kids are tall, dark, and handsome (Eric and James) and quite pretty (Jennifer).

    So many good and happy memories...

    I remember going into our basement office and found E&J been busy putting the cat on the xerox machine and pushing the green COPY button over and over, leaving a hundred pages of very annoyed-looking cat scattered on the floor. Strangely, cat hairs jammed the fax machine, too.
    I was pretty amazed at how quickly the kids had figured out how to get into the basement despite the lock.

    And that wonderful moment that I *finally* got a ray trace to work, and impressed Jennifer. I really ought to post that picture online somewhere; right now it only exists in Gadgets by Small manuals.

    The moment when I opened the front door and Jennifer ... had a cast on her arm.

    "What happened?", I asked. She said, "Oh, I was chasing some boys and I fell down."


    This needs a Hall of Fame decoration for least amount of information ever transmitted in a sentence.

    Eric chimed in and said, "Oh! It was SO COOL! There were ambulances and EMT's and police and fire engines, it was TOTALLY AWESOME! You should have seen it!"

    I, uh, kinda wish I had seen it, too. However I suspect Jennifer was collecting signatures on her cast from boys she liked.

    So many memories!

    Taking about a 1 year old baby into Atari, and, for a grin, pinned an Atari Security pass onto him. (Yep, you never know what a 1 year old spy might see! ) Really livened up Atari.

    Ah, Katie, you wrote so wonderfully, and I think maybe doing that causes other people to remember, too, and then they write (or paint, or put a floppy-disk sandwich (with mayonnaise) into a Macintosh.

    I feel blessed and thankful for my kids, and, for my (alas, ex) wife, who brought such wonderful kids into the world, and the many people who have been kind and helped me out over the years. I try to give back.

    Having kids will definitely spice your life up, since everything can and does happen. I would be bored if I just sat around and plicked on a keyboard. But I can close my eyes, rest for a moment, and when my parental radar says the house is too quiet, it's time to see what creative little minds with a clock speed of two zillion cycles per second have cooked up.

    Did I mention the cat-dog races held in the office?

    With love,
    David Small
    (Katie's Uncle).