14 hours ago
Monday, August 2, 2010
My Mom is The Best!
I just have to tell this story, even though pretty much all of my friends have heard it already.
I was eight. It was third grade. Annie, the movie, had released that summer to great fanfare. Red and white Annie dresses were in the girl’s clothing section of every department store in America. Little girls in red and white dresses were dotting the streets of my home town. I wanted one. I wanted an Annie dress so bad I could taste it. But, they were expensive. We couldn’t afford it. Like any crafty and resourceful mom, mine decided to make me one. We could afford that. Mom was a wiz on the sewing machine. She hand-made Cabbage Patch- style dolls for myself and each of my female cousins on year for Christmas. She made mine and my brother’s Halloween costumes every year. One year, I was a lamb and my mom sewed hundreds of cotton balls to my leotards and made me a lamb’s hat out of a cut up milk carton. Brilliant!
Anyway, she made me the best Annie dress a girl could have. It was perfect! I thought I looked exactly like the orphan waif in my new red and white rags. I even had my own matching heart-shaped locket. I wore that dress every single day, all summer long. I was the bee’s knees.
And then, school started and third graders are sadistic. My dress was considered less than adequate because it was hand-made instead of store bought. I was laughed at for having a “fake” Annie dress. Musings of my financial status were discussed with vicious delight. I was ridiculed and shunned. My heart was broken. I was ashamed.
Crushed and defeated, I slunk home to mom and relayed the horrors of my day to her, tears streaming down my face and my dress crumpled tightly in my dirty, sweaty hand (I took it off the second I walked in the front door). Mom, with her nurturing insight, spoke only one sentence that renewed my love of the dress all over again. The next day that I wore my Annie dress to school, my resolve was strong and my confidence was high. When my callous classmates began their relentless taunting again, I responded with the wisdom of my mother’s words, “My dress is more real than yours. Annie would never have worn a dress with her own name printed on it.” Take that, you heartless monsters!
I love you Mom, and Happy Birthday!