Recently, I heard a mother say, “I am going to have a party when the last goldfish dies!”
I could relate! Because she was being real. (This story was recorded in full here: When the Last Goldfish Dies.)
I’ve always wanted to be one of those “cool” moms as seen on TV. You know the ones? They wear their skinny jeans while they feed the kids chocolate chip cookies and milk and sit and discuss their school day. Their teens run in with all of their friends, (because the mom is so cool, surely any teen would want to hang out with her), and gobble up the pizza pockets and Sunny D. (That’s the way “cool moms” say “Sunny Delight.”)
But where are the “real” moms in those commercials?
A real mom is sitting in the bathroom, and the ENTIRE family is standing outside of the bathroom door asking “URGENT” questions like,
“What are we having for dinner?”
“Have you seen my book?”
“Doesn’t HE have to put the dishes away today, because I already did it TWO TIMES YESTERDAY!!”
A real mom doesn’t realize till dinner that her shirt has been on inside-out all day. (Do teens think that is cool?)
Real moms have library books that they have paid for three times, thinking one day they’ll find it.
Real moms lose socks in every load.
Real moms go to the store for milk, and come home with seven things…and no milk.
Real moms fit four little people (preferably her own kids) with her in one bathroom stall in the airport.
Real moms know what the code for “lost toddler” is on the Kohls intercom. (Thank you, Kohls, for handling us real moms.)
Real moms wonder if their hair can last one more day unwashed without attracting a social worker’s inspection.
Real moms know evolution can’t be true or else she’d have seven arms by now.
Real moms have the super power of finding things in the fridge that aren’t even at eye level.
Real moms can listen to the conversation behind them while talking to the one in front of them.
Real moms know how to hide the green beans under the bananas on the baby food spoon, can distinguish their baby’s cry in a nursery full of screamers and recognize the meaning behind every cry: hungry, hurt, or trying to get brother into trouble.
Real moms stop and blow bubbles.
A real mom has Good Night Moon memorized, even if her youngest child is eight.
Real moms know how to read aloud in characters’ voices in bedtime stories.
Real moms spend hours…or days…distraught over their children’s behavior.
Real moms leave knee prints in the carpet.
Real moms live life at the speed of their slowest child – even the special needs one.
Real moms hurt when their children hurt.
Real moms are sad when their kids leave for college…or kindergarten.
Real moms sometimes fall in bed at night, not fitting into their skinny jeans, second-guessing their every word to their kids that day, and wondering if tomorrow will be any different.
Real moms have days when they think they will party when the last goldfish dies.
And real moms shed a tear when it does.
Because when the last goldfish dies
It means the child has grown up a bit
“Back-scratching times” are almost done.
Bedtime stories are about to be silent.
The misspellings on the funeral invitations may almost be over.
Childhood appreciates after it is gone.
When the last goldfish dies, so does a little bit of childhood; and I suppose it is buried alongside a little bit of the “real mom-hood” that goes with it.
– back to being a real mom,
Proverbs 31:28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
- Why is There a Dead Bird on the Air Hockey Table? (now, buried next to the State Fair fish)
- Unattended Vehicles (at the State Fair)
- Wet Light Fixtures and Oatmeal Kisses