I understand you’re currently considering a variety of potential candidates for the position of Your Mother. As you peer down from the ether, watching us go about our daily lives, you need to decide which prospective mother is meant to be your mom. That’s a lot of pressure, and I don’t envy you the monumental burden of choice in this matter.
You may not have noticed me. Or, you may have noticed me and written me off. I can completely understand why you’d be tempted to toss my name back in the hat, but hear me out — I just might have exactly what you’re looking for.
Now at first glance, you’ll see that I lack the kind of maternal experience a kid like you would want in a mom. For instance, I have never had a child before. In fact, I have never really cared for a child before. I suppose I babysat a bit in high school, nannied in college. But using those experiences to beef up my mom resume would be like touting myself as a Sous Chef just because I’ve waited tables.
So I’m not gonna play the experience card.
You also might have noticed, in looking down, that I’m sort of an emotional wreck. Depression, anxiety, hypersensitivity, Misophonia — you name it, I’ve been there, had that, bought the t-shirt.
Know that I’m going to therapy, hitting the gym, and trying to eat food that actually comes from the earth (as opposed to a factory. Pack your own food before you come because it’s a shit show down here, no joke). All of these things help with my cray-cray, but there’s a lot of pain to sift through and I really don’t think it will all be healed before you get here.
So I’m not gonna play the emotionally stable adult card.
To make my case even more dismal, I’m sure you can see that my finances (or lack thereof) are spotty at best. I’m not 100% certain I’ll be finished paying off my student loans by the time you start college. But you can get a scholarship, right? And maybe in 18 years college will be totally irrelevant anyway because all our jobs will be taken over by bots, right?
Bots or not, I can’t even begin to play the financially responsible card. Forget the card, I can’t even afford the envelope.
Also, just to be completely honest with you, I’m not particularly nurturing or domestic, two qualities I imagine might come in handy when parenting. I can’t cook, I don’t always remember birthdays, and as much as I want to care, I really don’t give a flying fuck if the house is clean.
Did I mention I curse like a sailor?
So I can’t play the June Cleaver card, either. (That’s a really dated reference. Btw, I’m also old.)
Oh, and then there’s this — before the possibility of you, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to have children. I may be shooting myself in the foot by admitting this, but the truth is that for a long time, I envisioned myself as a “childless by choice”-type lady who was too busy career-ing and traveling to even think of starting a family.
There are millions — no, billions of women on the planet more suited to be your mother than I am. They have stable jobs and stable dispositions. They’ve always known they wanted to be mothers. They probably have the outfit you’ll wear home from the hospital not only picked out, but ironed.
I can’t promise a McMansion to live in, a Bentley for rides to school, an Ivy League education or a Stepford Wife disposition (slightly updated reference. I’m still old). I can’t promise you’ll always have socks that match or a sparkling kitchen consistently stocked with homemade after-school snacks. And here’s the real kicker — I can’t promise that I’ll always be in a good mood.
But here’s what I can promise:
- Clear and present laughter at least once a day, every day.
- Healthy food to eat and a safe, warm place to sleep.
- The kind of father who will always come to your soccer matches — but in a cool, stoic, proud father kind of way, not in an embarrassing, this-guy-has-unresolved-issues-from-childhood-and-is-taking-it-out-on-the-referee kind of way
- An unlimited amount of do-overs.
- Bottomless buckets of empathy.
- A get-out-of-jail-free card for that time you get caught underage drinking in high school and I have to come pick you up at 2am.
I promise to take your side, even when you’re wrong.
I promise to be your cheerleader, your totem pole, your biggest fan.
I promise to be totally cool and open and accepting if you happen to be gay or transgender or join a cult or become a Republican. That last one will be hard for me, but I promise to bite my tongue and accept you anyway.
I promise to love you with every square centimeter of my heart for every second of every day for the rest of my life, until there is no known molecule in the cosmos that has not heard of this unqualified, undeserving, unrelenting mother and her unlimited, unimaginable, unstoppable love for her son.
Patrick, I’m playing the only card I have to play.
In case you haven’t guessed yet, it’s The Queen of Hearts.
Please pick me.
p.s. In the interest of full disclosure, know that everything I feed you will be organic, vegan, gluten-free, wheat-free, sugar-free, dye-free, nitrate-free hippie food.
But also know that I will break down at least once a week and let you have pizza. My word is my bond: there will always be pizza.
By Rebecca Anne Nguyen 🔥