Dear Claremore: Letter from a Monkey Son’s Mom

crystalThere I was sitting in the booth at the restaurant with my four kids and husband, celebrating my third child’s 6th birthday when I noticed the looks from across the way.  You know those looks that say “I don’t know you but I am judging you as a terrible mother.”

This is my letter to that lady and her husband sitting across from my family –a family that I spend every waking moment loving, caring for and cultivating.


Dear lady that doesn’t know me,

Yes, that is my youngest son. I am sorry that at times his quick paced behavior was alarming to you. I had no idea that when they handed me him in the hospital that I would spend an exhausting amount of time redirecting and correcting him. I blame truth in advertising. You see, that doctor said, “Congratulations! You have a healthy son!”

What he didn’t say was that my son –all my children really- would work me harder than any job that I have ever had but along the way they would steal my heart over and over again.  That doctor never warned me that I would have to deal with a child that for him, sitting still is torture or that looking around and questioning the universe would be never ending. He didn’t say anything about every object round in nature would turn into a ball or that anything can be made into a zombie fighting weapon. It was never explained to me that I would have to be the ever consistent disciplinarian or that I would get frustrated beyond belief but still have to maintain love as I taught my young son. That doctor failed to mention that my son, when I wasn’t looking, would empty my freshly filled drink of water or Diet Coke before I had a chance to even get a sip.  He didn’t warn me that Barbie dolls and Ninja Turtles or even that Iron Man would be subject to beheadings; that dirt would be his favor color or that he would want to hug my neck as hard as he can while green is protruding from his nose faster than I can wipe it up would happen more often than snot, I mean not.  My son didn’t come with a warning of quickness or ability to climb the seemingly unclimbable space. That scrub covered doctor simply said, “You have a healthy son.”

I understand that you were wanting to enjoy a dinner at one of our local Mexican restaurants with what I assume is your husband.  I really understand that because that is exactly what I was wanting. I wanted to celebrate the joy of my other son’s birthday. I wanted to sit and look at each of my two little girls and my two little boys and feel absolute joy. But then I saw you and I saw your judging eye and it hurt my heart deeply. It hurt because when I see my four kids and my husband, what I want to give them is the best mom and wife because that is what they deserve. Your looks made me feel like a failure.

I didn’t say anything to you –although my gut wanted to say hateful, awful things. I didn’t want my family to see that out of me –the person they will eventually model their behavior after.

So I left as you rolled your eyes.  Then what I did next was more important than you or your condescending looks.  I went home and loved on my kids. I kissed them each and told them how important that they are. I told them that each one was special and that they were created for greatness and to never forget it. And as I told them how God made them wonderfully, I was still redirecting and collecting my three-year-old son. I am no perfect mom. No one is. But I love my family the very best that I know how.

So I am sorry, if we ruined your dinner or perhaps you got home and thought about the adventure that I live with every day. It is really the best ride of my life. My four kids bring me more joy and laughter than anything ever. Even that crazy monkey of a three-year-old brightens the darkest of days. He is witty and fun and I am so very lucky to be his mom. I guess I really only apologize that you don’t know him or the rest of my brood because you are missing out!


That mom who had to rescue her son from a butter knife that wouldn’t cut warm butter. (Yeah, I heard you gasp with concern. I think everyone did. No little hands or warm butter was harmed.)

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