Humble Pie

If you’ve ever been on a road trip with toddlers, then you know the miles are paved with questions. 20 questions. 20 million billion questions. Questions that usually focus on location. “Are we there yet? Are we close? How about now?” There are roughly seven hours between our house in South Carolina and my parent’s home in Alabama. That means, if Piper (age 4) asks once a minute “if we’re there yet,” I get to answer her 420 times.

To help her understand travel and distance, I explained the trip in relation to a grilled cheese sandwich (My kids speak food. They get it…). I told Piper, “South Carolina is the top bread, Georgia is the cheese, and Alabama in the bottom bread.” So now when we’re on a road trip, she’ll ask, “Are we still in the cheese?” This metaphor at least adds humor to the redundancy. Win, win. Spoiler alert: I suck at geography.

So the other day, while we were still somewhere in the cheese, she threw me a curve ball. She asked, “Mommy, why did Maui’s mom throw him away?” If you’re familiar with the Disney movie Moana, you know that according to the demigod Maui, his parents took one look at him when he was born, decided parenthood wasn’t their thing, and threw him into the ocean. If you’re sad for Maui, rest assured that all is well. He was saved by the gods and raised by them to provide gifts to humanity. Happy endings all around.

Back to Piper’s question… I thought about it and decided not to get all doom and gloom on her and offered the simplest reasoning. “Some moms just aren’t nice.”

She sat quietly for a good 30 seconds, (record setting toddler contemplation) and then said, “Sometimes you’re not nice, but YOU don’t throw us away.”

A hefty slice of humble pie, but also a very candid picture of motherhood. I love my kids like crazy. I’d die for them. But sometimes they drive me nuts. But they’re mine and I’m keeping them anyway.

I thought about Piper’s response and reassured her, “Sometimes you guys get in trouble and mommy has to discipline you because it’s my job to raise you right, but no matter what, I will never throw you away.” To which she replied so sweetly, “Thanks, mom. Are we still in the cheese?”

Happy Mother’s Day-eve!

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