My Mom is an incredible person. She is able to make friends anywhere and has an ease with people that I have always admired. Whenever I talk to a new person I try to channel my Mom’s comfort and friendliness. (This rarely works. I usually just stare awkwardly while trying to remember what my Mom said to the cashier that one time and then things just go downhill and then I laugh to myself in the uncomfortable silence. Sometimes I’m weird.)
Because of her ability to make friends anywhere and everywhere my Mom knows and is known by a lot of people. This was not always a good thing.
Growing up my sister and I occasionally got into trouble (surprise!) and one summer we were grounded after being very bad indeed (I actually don’t remember why we were grounded, but I’m sure it was Julia’s fault). It was the end of the summer and my Mom’s birthday was nearly upon us. As we were stuck inside the house we came up with a great plan to escape and head to the mall. My Mom was out for the day and we had planned everything perfectly. So, Mission Impossible Style, we climbed the fence and made our way to freedom.
We were only gone an hour, stopping at unusual stores and making unusual purchases. Both of us were giddy with the success of our mission and we made our way back home stealthily, taking a trail to avoid the road. Our good mood lasted until the evening when my Mom called us both upstairs using her Stern Voice.
Not only did she know we had escaped the house, but she knew what stores we went to and what we had bought in each one. At least three people had called her from the mall to let her know what we were up to. My Mom’s friendships had turned into a full-fledged spy network.
First she expressed her disappointment at our dishonesty (which is way worse than being angry) and then she told us her confusion. Why had we gone here? Why had we bought this?
To which Julia and I responded “Happy Birthday, Mom.”
Our escape got us another week of grounding, though our reason for escaping (to buy Birthday gifts for our Mom) was commended.
Still, apparently breaking the rules for a good reason still counts as breaking the rules.
PS. Happy Birthday, Mom! I’m glad I’m old enough now that your spy network no longer spoils your birthday surprises. Love always, Sammie.