The epitaph I used to always want on my tombstone was, “I told you I was sick.” But I changed my mind and today I decided it should be, “You’re Welcome.” You’re welcome for every load of laundry I did without complaining and You’re welcome for every one of the thousands of trips I made to the grocery store. Because throughout your entire lives, you’ve been wearing clothes and eating food. Every day! How inconsiderate! And to be really clichéd because it’s early and I don’t’ want to think of something better, I’ll say it’s like that Seinfeld episode with Newman and the mail, or that I Love Lucy episode when the candies kept coming and coming. I had to keep washing your clothes and buying your food, over and over and over. You’re welcome
Yesterday, I washed and folded three loads of laundry, planned my daughter’s 14th birthday party—booked the laser tag place, created the invitations, fought with the crazy PDF file for thirty minutes trying to print out the waiver (should you, really, have a birthday party that requires a signed waiver?) And a million other little things. Breakfast. Dinner. Christmas cards. Cleaning the kitchen. Then at nine pm, when I was ready to relax, I was informed I needed to print the photos for the science fair experiment. No problem. “The files are in the computer!” But no. It can never be that easy. I couldn’t just go into iPhoto and print the photos. I had to upgrade iPhoto first or none of my photos could be read (or some similar scary threat). But… But we didn’t have enough available space on the computer. So I had to delete Kodak Easy Frame and The Sims—
Squee! How tragic—so there would be 6KB available to upgrade iPhoto so someone could have their science fair photos by tomorrow. You’re welcome.
And, when said someone was busy texting her BFF while I was helping her decide which photos she needed printed and she was so distracted by said BFF she wasn’t even paying attention, I pushed my chair away from the kitchen computer and said “Why don’t you just pick the ones you want and print them yourself.”
Yes, my daughter was just initiated into the My-mom-hates-the-science-fair club. It makes me smile. And I honestly don’t expect my children to be grateful for every minute (not minute as in time, but minute as in tiny) little thing I do. It’s not why I do it and it’s not why I had children, because I wanted them to throw gratitude at me every waking minute (as in time). (I actually rejoice in the fact I have the ability to give my daughter a laser tag party and help her with iPhoto for the science fair.) But kids do need to be taught gratitude, to have it become a part of their lives, so they can then attract more good things into them. But mostly just because saying thank you is the right thing to do. So is teaching independence, especially when it comes to doing your own work and super-especially when it comes to the science fair.
Someday, when a certain someone is fully capable of independent science fair preparation, she will, IMHO, be just about fully prepared for life. (Admit it, lots of lessons to be learned from science fair prep. Don’t wait to the last minute. Work as a team. Don’t mix ammonia and chlorine. Lots of good stuff.) And when she’s a fully functioning and hopefully grateful independent adult, I will say, You’re welcome. Or maybe just my tombstone will. And I will really, really mean it. But, I dunno, would it really kill any of you to, just, every once in a while, tell your mother, “Thank you?”
Thank you for reading A City Mom! If you were to tap a Like on my A City Mom page on Facebook here and/or follow me on Twitter @acitymom I will be sure to say, "Thank you" and then you could say, "You're welcome," but you wouldn't have to engrave it anywhere.