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I’m proud to be your parent. I really mean that. I would never suggest that having 4 sons as spunky as you are entitles me to a trophy. I’ve enjoyed many aspects of raising you. You’re clever, kind, and you fill my heart with a gladness that I cannot put properly into words.
But boys, listen up. Your destructive tendencies have propelled me to the limits of my sanity. I have been forced to create an imaginary world, a “mind palace” (to borrow the phrase), in which I close my eyes, breathe deeply, and mentally transport myself into a very charming cottage that has been decorated by top designers from Better Homes and Gardens. This white cottage (with a view that overlooks the ocean) is nestled on a hill amid tall flowing grasses, wild flowers, and a white picket fence. There are no children here. Not a Lego or NERF bullet is in sight; just the soft warm breeze, euphonious waves, absolute stillness and the distant caw of gulls.
I love it here.
I travel here mentally every time you destroy another small piece of what’s left of our home.
Within my mind-cottage dwell warm colors, large windows and white furniture. I own a perfectly designed white coffee table and white fireplace mantle, both displaying high-end glass baubles, vases, candlesticks and artistically placed books.
Books are silent. And therefore important.
Yes, your antics have pushed me into this fantasy. Then my eyes snap open to reality and I’m standing in 3 inches of overflowed toilet water you’ve managed to send clear down the hallway, after trying to flush down a petrified dead squirrel and yesterday’s underpants.
Your Mama is making a list of everything you destroy. For payback.
Here is your warning:
Quit it. Or else.
Quit it, or one day when you live on your own, I will come over to your house and break all your stuff.
I will show up with a warm smile, a hug and a plate of your favorite cookies. While you are happily eating in your kitchen under the false assumption that Mama is here just because she adores you…(and boy do I)… I will be pouring urine into your shoes. Here’s the beauty of it: I won’t tell you. You’ll just wonder where the smell is coming from until you put your shoes on the next morning on the way out the door to your business meeting.
I will disassemble your lawn mower and use the blade for hacking at your favorite tree. I will boil a roadkill possum carcass in your favorite cooking pot. Then leave it there. I will turn off your hot water heater and flip the electrical breaker that routes to your freezer. Your iPad (or its equivalent in a decade or so). Bathtub. Your eyeglasses don’t stand a chance.
I will hurl a NERF gun straight into the screen of your brand new TV. Oh, it’ll shatter all right. Not even a Sonic Screwdriver will make that puppy work again, I will make sure of that.
While you are distracted with the task of sweeping up the pieces, I will leave grape jelly handprints all over your sofa, carve my name with a pocket knife across your dining table and hide a whole stick of butter in your washing machine. I will put gum inside your dishwasher, bury your electric razor beneath the geraniums and pour orange juice down your air-vent hole. I will unwrap all your popsicles and leave them inside your sock drawer. I will take every single battery out of every conceivable electronic device you own and drop them into your fish tank.
And my retribution won’t be limited to the daytime. Nah. Mama will come over to spend the night.
As you sleep softly in a warm bed among the haze of lovely dreams, I will be downstairs in the dark, placing a hot iron on your new hardwood floors, just briefly enough that the smoke alarm doesn’t go off, but long enough to make sure they are good and warped. I will un-stuff all of your couch cushions and pour sugar into your DVD player. Lamps will come crashing to the ground, mirrors will break and shoe-sized holes will find their way into your drywall. Anything I can find that is held together with screws, will be unscrewed. I will hide a loaded turkey sandwich in the pocket of your winter coat. I will smear VapoRub across every counter or flat surface you own and rip the last ten pages out of every book you have. Then I will come jump on your bed at 4:13 a.m. and demand a three-course breakfast. Sans the orange juice. (Or eggs. I put all of those behind your furnace grating.)
You may be tempted at this point to stop reading and say, “Holy cow! What a rampage! At least she didn’t damage my car!”
Don’t worry about your car. I scraped it nice and deep with a garden trowel on my way in. Siphoned out the gas too. You’re on E now.
Dear boys, listen carefully.
There is no possession on the planet you could destroy or damage that would make me stop loving you. I will always love you no matter what. You could torch the house and burn it clear to the ground (and at your rate of destruction, you will) and I would still be thrilled to be your mother.
But it will go on the list.
I love you guys,
P.S. Those cookies that I brought over? I licked them all. I licked them all really, really well.
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