Strange Confessions: The Lost Files, a Mother’s Day Confession
Posted by Mark Mayo
Strange Confessions: I once sacrificed a Fisher-Price music clock to my Mom, when she asked my little sister and me to give up something we cared about because we ruined a bunch of her expensive make up.
(Author’s note: This Strange Confession was originally written on that one site as part of the original Strange Confessions series. I posted the picture on the right and wrote the story as a link to it. Periodically I go through the pictures and delete old ones, in which I did for this particular one, not realizing I was deleting the story as well. I received some comments about what a tribute it was for my Mother, and I believe they thought she was… ahem… deceased. I had to go back and tell them it was just a story I remembered and that my Mom is alive and well, as she still is. She took good care of us kid’s during a hard time of a mostly absent Father that eventually ended in divorce. I love her so much and this story truly defined how much she really knew who I was and the fear of who I might become. Since this is a rewrite, I doubt it’ll be as good as the original, but want to make as fine a tribute my Mom deserves. I love you Mom!)
My little sister and I used to pretend to make magic potions in the sink. We’d find soaps and shampoos and toothpaste and mouthwash, and mix it all up in the bathroom sink, stirring it up until it dissolved into a greenish, brown goop. Then we’d always hit the drain lever and down it would go; mess all cleaned up in a hurry. One time we were in my parent’s bathroom and found all sorts of interesting bottles and baubles and tinctures to mix up into a new creation. Gleefully pouring all the stuff and stirring it up, my Mom caught us in the act. She was very angry with us and you could tell, but she didn’t yell at us. In fact, I never remember her yelling at me unless I was in danger or about to break something. This time though, you could tell how just below the surface her anger was. She sat us down on our bed and explained to us how expensive it all cost. I can’t really remember my reaction then, but I imagine it was a lot like one of my kids: you think you might be getting through to them, but when you pause to take a breath they ask to use the computer or for an ice cream or to go outside. You know they are getting it. Which is what I imagine my Mom was feeling at the moment. She told us that it was something valuable to us and it is hard to lose something valuable. Of course this make up wasn’t more important to her than us, but I believe she saw this as an important teaching moment. She explained that she wanted to go and get something of ours to give to her, something that meant a lot, something that was valuable, something that was hard for us to part with.
I would guess I was at least 12 years-old at the time, and supposed I had grown beyond any real connection to toys such as a wind up clock. I had a Bugs Bunny stuffed toy when I was much younger, but lost it somewhere along the way. If I had still had that Bugs toy, it would probably be sitting on my bed in a place of honor, owing to the innocence of youth. I had a friend in high school who had one of those Bugs’ he kept in his room… with a noose around its neck that I was horrified to find. How could he do that to something that meant so much to me… I mean to him. Now that Bugs Bunny toy was something I might have given up at that time. I’m not a very sentimental guy when it comes to that sort of stuff, but that is one thing I wish I still had. With the task of finding something that mattered to me, I looked around the room. I didn’t see anything off-hand, but at the same time I didn’t really understand the scope of teaching my Mom wanted us to understand. I went to my closet and dug to the very bottom and all the way back in the corner, and found good old Fisher-Price clock. I went in to my Mom and with eyes properly downcast and sorrowful, I presented my sacrifice to her.
She takes it away from me, limply clutching it in her hand and asks, “This is something that is really valuable to you?” I look up sadly and tell her that yes, it is valuable to me. She stops, looks at it, looks at me and slowly asks again, “This is something that really means a lot to you? Something that has worth or value?” “Yes,” I tell her, “It is valuable to me.” She looks deep into my eyes. This is the thing I can remember the most. I remember the place I found the clock, I remember sitting on my bed looking around for something, but I can still see her eyes boring into mine. It was like she caught a glimpse of the future in my eyes. A boy who could outright pretend sorrow and regret had some hard troubles in his future, and I honestly did. She might have seen the things in store for me and beat it out of me, perhaps she saw it as inevitable and thought it better for me to face it on my own. Maybe she was just too tired to deal with it that day… but what ever her idea in mind for that long look, it made a long-lasting impression on me.
I imagine that is the way God looked at Adam and Eve in the garden on that fateful day that changed history forever. This has been something that came back to me when I became a Christian. The idea that we can look one in the eye who raised us, provided for us, defended us, and just lie to their face, makes me a little sick to my stomach. She was and is a good Mother who had lots of difficult times and trials in her life, no fewer ones that came directly from me, and she handled it with grace and patience. I know in my heart that I can never match up to that character, Lord though do I try, but the anger just comes out in yelling, and that is where a lot of my grace is demonstrated: in having to ask for forgiveness. God looks on us when we fall short with sorrow, but also with patience and grace. He knows we have a choice to do the right thing and mostly rarely do. It is the grace and patience I remember when I think about God’s dealings with me, and especially when I think of Him in the Old Testament. People have told me how they appreciate the God of the New rather than the Old Testament. They say it is because of His love in the New, and the wrath in the Old. I see a God of infinite love demonstrated through patience in the Old, much like my Mom was. Holding our eyes, waiting for us to make the right choice, knowing that when we do not, the consequences we will face because of our actions, and it makes Him sorrowful. He gives us the choice and never forces us. Thank you Mom for demonstrating His grace, love and patience in the way you raised me, in the way you raised us. I made a lot of wrong decisions along the way, but you are utmost in my mind the way I want/need to be with my own kids. May I make the right decisions with them.
Posted on May 11, 2014, in Strange Confessions and tagged Childhood, Fisher-Price Clock, Grace, Love, Lying, Mom, Mother, Mother's Day, Patience, Sacrifice, Strange Confessions. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.