"Okay, if you need any help, you'll let me know?"
He nodded, went to his room, and shut the door.
This must have been one heck of a report--since when is he excited about homework?
After a half hour, I placed some cheese and crackers on a plate and knocked on his door. "Zombie?" I went inside. All sorts of "inventions" are in his room--these consist of beautiful trinkets I've left around the house, rubberbands, toothpicks, washcloths, gum, Q-tips, plastic cups, and even parts of his little sisters' "old" toys. I recently read FRANKENSTEIN, and I really GOT that story, because I live with an inventor--they're freakin' awesome.
Anyway, I set the cheese and crackers on the bed next to where The Zombie rested on his stomach with his feet high up in the air. "What's your report on?" I asked.
"I'm supposed to write about the person who's impacted my life the most." He smiled up at me so darling, and I just knew this would be about me. "I'll be reading it to my class! Maybe I can read it to you tomorrow after you're home from work?"
"Sure, buddy. I'd love that."
And for a whole freakin' day I didn't walk places, I floated to them. I sang, while I did the dishes. I hummed in the car. I kept my songs to myself at work--because I like my job--but I did sing in the parking lot--haha!
And when I got home the next night, I could hardly wait to hear his report. But our dog Abby barred my way, and I kept telling her, "I need to talk with The Zombie! My gosh, you're going to trip me." That big oaf is a Doberman. She's adorable, BUT she's an attention hog. I'm not a doctor, and I don't want to sound like I've looked into this too much, but THAT DOG may have...a histrionic personality disorder that affects her personal-butt-licking and social life.
Anyway...more about her, later.
My son decided to bring the report out for everyone to hear. My three other children and I crowded around the kitchen table. I felt momentarily sad that Mike, my husband, had to work, because I'd love for him to hear a report from our son, about how I'm his favorite.
"Quiet down, children," I crooned. "The Zombie has something he'd like to say."
"The person who's impacted my life the most." He cleared his throat. "She's always there for me. She always loves me. Even if I'm mean, she's still nice. When I have a hard time, she makes sure I'm better. She won't even leave, until she knows I'm okay."
I puffed up at this point. You know, being a parent is hard, but in that moment I felt so appreciated. Had someone finally noticed that I'm a gem? "Go on." I motioned so kindly to him. "You can keep reading."
"She's beautiful, and hairy. She's reminds me of a bear."
What the hell! At this point, my train of thought fell off a cliff. I was drawing a blank. Hairy? My lord, I shave nearly every day. And I'm not ninety--to the point where I have random hairs sticking from every hole in my face.
And my son didn't even seem concerned. Then he finished his report with, "She's changed my life in every way. I love her so very much. She's Abby our dog." And he set down his paper, completely bypassed me--AND HUGGED that hairy narcissist.
My three girls giggled so hard, and The Scribe said, "Oh my gosh, guys. Mom, thought it was about her! Oh, she's so sad."
I donned my best I-didn't-just-get-punched-in-the-six-pack face, and smiled broadly. "Did not."
"Did too," The Scribe said.
I was pretty sad--but I wouldn't let them see me cry. So I made dinner, put the kids to bed--even made sure Abby was set up on her dog bed in The Zombie's room--and was just about to go to bed myself, when I saw four little notes on my pillow. They each had a single sentence on them, but they meant the world to me.
You're the best mom ever. Love, The Scribe
I like you and Abby. The Zombie
You're amazing. Love, The Hippie
And the last one, in huge print said:
Mama + Me = Love
I hugged each note so hard and smiled. Maybe the report hadn't been about me, but I still knew my kids loved me--and they also know how very much I love them. In the ends, that's what matters anyway. Oh and that our dog IS amazing.
Time to stop being so jealous of our dog,