On this Mother’s Day, I’d like to make the following confessions while urging you to try and look on the bright side.
Confession: Remember how the chandelier over the kitchen table had two broken lights for twenty years? I broke that the day after we moved in by sword fighting with ski poles while standing on the kitchen table.
Looking on the bright side: I won that sword fight.
Confession: Remember when you made Jello for dinner, and someone cut out the name Paul from the center, and when you showed me the Jello and asked if I had eaten it, I answered, “I’d have to be pretty stupid to write my own name in the Jello, wouldn’t I? Is it possible somebody was trying to set me up?” I admit now that I really did eat that Jello and knew writing my name would throw you off my trail. Was I less than perfectly honest? I think you’ll find if you parse my statement I never actually denied eating it, but merely answered your question with two more questions.
Looking on the bright side: You were very lucky to have such a creative child. On the even brighter side, Jello is pretty good, isn’t it?
Confession: I broke two of the rungs on Grandma’s antique rocking chair.
Looking on the bright side: You never found out because I repaired them so expertly, and if you had examined my handiwork, any anger would have been replaced by pride in my workmanship. Considerations of admitting I broke the chair were ended when Dad broke the whole thing a short-time later by leaning back too far, despite my repeated warnings he was going to break it. Why didn’t Dad get in trouble?
Confession: In high school I told you I always said no to drugs whenever I was offered, but this isn’t the complete truth. I never literally said no to drugs because nobody ever offered them to me. Every Friday at school I would approach different groups of kids and ask, “What do you guys have planned for this weekend? Are you going to smoke some drugs and talk about how you hate authority figures? Because I am not interested,” but nobody ever invited me to do drugs, so I never technically turned anyone down.
Looking on the bright side: Because I never used drugs I still have all my brain cells and am able to remember in perfect detail how I was never invited to any of the cool parties.
Confession: One time you told me to practice the piano and instead I played a tape of me practicing the piano I had recorded a day earlier. Something about the poor sound quality brought you into the living room, and you asked if I had expected you to believe I was actually practicing. I said no, laughed, and told you I just wanted to hear what I sounded like to improve my playing. But Mom, I really, really did believe you would be tricked by that tape and I would never have to practice the piano again.
Looking on the bright side: This audio failure served as an early lesson, inspiring me to improve my grasp of technology. Without this experience I never would have taken the correspondence course in which I learned to build the hologram that attended high school in my place.