Once upon a time…I was terrible.
I know. I, too, find this hard to believe.
But it’s true. And I have proof:
Above is the drawing that my long-suffering mother sketched of her 3-year-old daughter, “10 minutes after housecleaning.”
A destructive she-devil who strangles cats, breaks furniture and urinates on herself.
This is how Momma used to view me.
When I was younger, I used to obsesses over this photo. Sobbing big crocodile tears, I assumed that Momma had taken the time to draw (and LAMINATE) such a horrible picture of me because she didn’t love me anymore.
I always feared that Momma would stop loving me.
I also feared that, one day, she would run away.
One morning, my fear came true!
After waking up, I began my usual search for Momma. Most mornings, I would find her in the bathroom or her closet or in the kitchen.
This morning, however, she was not in any of those places.
She was also not in the living room or my sisters’ rooms.
She wasn’t ANYWHERE!!
Panicked, I began to cry. “So this is it,” I thought, “Momma FINALLY runned away.”
Overwhelmed with grief, I ran across the street to my grandparents’ house to break the news. Grandfather picked me up, wiped my tears away with a warm, damp washcloth and carried me back home…where Momma was waiting for me!!
Apparently, she had been out feeding the chickens in the henhouse the whole time.
Now that I am older and no longer strangle cats or pee on the floor, I appreciate the humor in Momma’s drawing.
I imagine her sitting at the kitchen table, exhausted after a long day of mothering. Suddenly, she finds herself sketching the wretchedness of her toddler on the back of an old menu, laughing to herself because, at this point, it’s all she can do to keep from running away.