Why did she keep it?

This memory—I wanted to go wading in the creek near our house with the juvenile delinquent who lived next door, but my mother wouldn’t let me. She said something lame about “germs” in the creek. I was 9 or 10 and wouldn’t think about disobeying her, but I was so mad at my mother that I wrote her a note. “You are the meanest most horrible mother in the whole world and I hate you!” I pinned the note to the kitchen curtain above the sink so she would be sure to see it. Then I waited for her reaction. There was none. I waited for my father to get home, certain that she would share the note with him and THEN I’d be in big trouble. Nothing. I waited for days for punishment that never came. When my mother died, I found that pencil scrawled note in a box of keepsakes she had in a drawer. Along with homemade cards, and letters I’d sent home from college and from my days as a new wife and mother was the note. I wonder why she kept it.

17 thoughts on “Why did she keep it?

  1. Oh man, that tugs at my heart. The fact that you remembered that moment so vividly and that your mother kept the note in remembrance is fascinating. It’s not easy being a mom, but sounds like she was amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is so interesting to consider why she kept it – maybe to remind herself that she is doing a good job parenting. I remember going through my parents things as well – it is so captivating to get that glimpse into who they were and at the same time feels a bit invasive. I saved everything. I will slowly make my way through it all – one box at a time. Did you save it?


  3. Loved that you used the phrase “juvenile delinquent”. Hadn’t heard that in a while. I agree with Clare that she kept it as a reminder that she made the right decision. She knew you didn’t mean it, but you respected her enough to honor her wishes.

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  4. I think your mom sensed your need for expression in every form. That’s a gift. Then she re-blessed you when you re-discovered a truth about your being. I love rebellious behavior; it’s how we deepen our beliefs and realize our boundaries.

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  5. If it were my note, I may have kept it to remind me that life isn’t perfect and sometimes you have to do what’s right even if everyone doesn’t like it. This slice is very powerful and thought provoking.

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  6. My son has this little whiteboard in his room stating that I am the worst father ever. I can’t recall what I did but that sign was posted in the hallway for a few days. Some days I do feel that sign is accurate but others not so much. Parenting is hard!


  7. Ok, you had me at the first sentence, by the way!
    Moms know we don’t mean it. And moms also know that we will be tortured when they don’t do anything, AND know that we will find that note someday…and know she cherished it. You can only hate someone you love… The opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is indifference. What a great mom and daughter team you must have been. She did SO love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m wondering why your mother would keep it myself. For some reason I am hanging on to a note my daughter wrote to me, but I disappointed her. It is with all the love notes she wrote me. I don’t know why I’m keeping it because it saddens me when I read it.

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  9. I always say that if your kids didn’t say they hated you at least once in their lives you weren’t doing your job as a parent. I think that kids say that because they know that their parent is right, but just can’t admit it.

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