Guilt + Humility = Motherhood

“Mom, don’t feel bad about it. It was an accident.”

 “Yeah, but I’m so mad at myself. And I’m kinda embarrassed.”

 “Mom, I’m serious. Don’t beat yourself up about it anymore. These things happen.  And besides, just think, you can get a column out of it.”

Okay so. When did my daughter get to be so sympathetic and sweet?  And why, when I do something stupid or embarrassing, does everyone automatically say, “Just think. You can get a column out of it.”

 And that line, ladies and gentleman, is one, after I flushed my brand new all-time favorite cell phone down the toilet, I hear a lot.

I also hear, “How do you keep coming up with things to write about?”   Listen, THINKING of thing to write about is easy!  My brain starts to put ordinary life events into column style while I’m aimlessly wandering around the aisles of Super Target or taking out the trash. It gets a little annoying and creepy after a while… but… it’s how I’m wired. I think.  I dunno, did that sound good?

So anyhow, I say to the askers, “Coming up with something to write about is the easy part.  Turning it into a 400-500 word family friendly humor column is another.”  When I told my mom this last night, she didn’t miss a beat answering the famed question for me: “You live.”

Then she proceeded to tell me how I’ve “lived” over the years with stories about my childhood and own children I’d completely forgotten.  And I’m sitting there listening to her, trying not to fall off my chair or spit wine out my nose from laughing so hard, thinking, how in the world does she remember all this?

Then when I relaxed — giddy and totally off guard, she asked, “So how exactly did you manage to flush your cell phone down the toilet?”  Great. It’s not good enough that she’s already told 3 dozen of our friends and relatives I flushed my phone and had to search the country over for a replacement…now she’s going to want to call them back with the detailed version.

I sighed and started recounting that fateful night.  “….and it was late and I needed to carry my phone and laptop back to my office to charge plus a glass of water to my room, so I tucked my cell phone into the waist of my yoga pants. And promptly forgot it was there….the next day when Kelly came over to help me look for my phone…..Mom?  Mawwwwm?!”  But she was too busy falling off the couch trying not to spit wine out of her nose.

Ah, mothers.  Not just good for guilt but humility to boot.

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