My Aunt June had a hat addiction, and I inherited it. Today I forced the family to pose in a small percentage of my hat collection for Mother’s Day pictures. And here they are:
I picked up a phrase I adored long ago from my BFF since kindergarten, Darlene. She always told her kids, “I love you most,” as they headed off to bed or left for school. I started that saying early on in my interactions with a certain linoleum lizard I hatched a decade ago…some kid named Jack…but unlike Darlene’s angels (and I say that with no irony), Jack loves to push my buttons.
“No you don’t. I love YOU most,” he’ll insist.
“I love you times infinity squared,” I’ll add, thinking this is my closing argument. We all know numbers are not my friends, but there can’t possibly be a larger number than infinity squared…can there?
“I love you times infinity cubed,” Jack will chirp back at me. How the hell does he know about numbers to the third power already? He’s only in the Fourth Grade!
“I carried you in my womb for 9.5 months and changed 5,000 of your toxic, bio-hazardous diapers, so that trumps anything you can possibly add, until I’m old and infirmed and you have to change 5,000 of my diapers!” This typically ends the argument as Jack turns green and walks away, feverishly trying to erase his theater of the mind with happy thoughts of Minecraft and Stampylongnose.
But tonight was different. We said our prayers and as he headed off to bed, I declared, “I love you most!” He looked back at me, the challenge rising in his eyes, and then his expression changed as if he suddenly remembered something. He sighed dramatically, shoulders sagging, resigned to the fact that there’s one day a year he must accept defeat: Mother’s Day. But like my favorite TV mom Beverly Goldberg, I stand by my statement. I do love him most.