What's the best thing in the world for a cold?
And when it's in print form - and you're reading it - and your nose is running and you're tearing up and reaching for the tissues and your family is laughing at you for crying about a book, you can pretend it's the stupid head cold. (Not that I would ever do that, you understand!)
Here's an excerpt (reprinted with permission):
In Mom We Trust
The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.
~James A. Garfield
My mom embarrassed me. In fifth grade, she was the
mom interrupting sex education with my birthday
cupcakes. In seventh grade, she picked up the phone
and told me it was bedtime at 9:30 on a Friday night when I was on
the phone with Eric, the cute boy in art class. And after Sam stood
me up on the night of winter formal, my mom stormed into his work
and made a scene, demanding he pay for my unused dress and shoes.
Although (I must admit) it would have been classic to see the look
on his face had I been there, I was furious with her for making matters
even more humiliating. Mom was always there to serve and protect.
She was like a superhero who just seemed to make everything
During the middle years when every month brought changes
in bra size, boyfriends and hair color, my mom was as impossible to
hide from as puberty. She was like a supernatural force, a divine spirit
with psychic abilities. If I made any sort of mistake, she knew about
it before I walked through the front door. She had a sixth sense, and
it wasn’t fair. My friends could experiment and lie and be out past
curfew, and their parents would never in a thousand years catch on.
As for me, if I were to even sample a beer or inhale one drag of a cigarette,
my mom knew. As a result, by high school I had learned that it was best
for me not to lie — after all, I knew better. I had a mom who
knew everything, anyway.
And then there was a night when I couldn’t be honest. All my
friends were making a journey down to Mexico for the evening. The
boy I especially liked invited me to come along. He was older and
had a car. I really, really wanted to go. I had resisted in the past,
but this time I found myself agreeing to the invitation. (My parents
thought I was spending the night with my best friend.) We went, and
it was fun and dangerous and stupid, and GREAT! Luckily, we made
it home safely that night, and I spent the night at a friend’s house.
His parents weren’t home, but if they had been, I have a feeling they
wouldn’t have cared that ten high-schoolers were gathered in their
living room after a night in Tijuana. They were the type of parents
who just didn’t seem to care all that much about anything, which at
the time I thought was pretty cool.
The morning after my little rebellious experience, my dad opened
the front door to greet me.
“Hi Bec,” he cheered. My mother put down her dishtowel and
kissed me on the cheek. I waited for her to notice something different
about me, something that might lead her to believe that I had been
up to no good.
“I’m gonna take a shower now,” I began.
She didn’t say anything. She just hugged me tightly and asked
me not to forget to clean my room. I spent twenty minutes in the
shower wondering what I should do. My mom would surely figure it
all out sooner or later. Should I tell her?
I decided to stay rigid. I was a good little actress. I could cover
for myself if I needed to. A lie (just this once) couldn’t hurt anyone.
When I came down for breakfast, I waited for the inquisition, but to
my surprise, it never came. Mom’s crystal ball must have been cloudy
that day, and for once, she didn’t suspect a thing. I was in luck. I was
relieved. I was shocked. I was guilty.
My conscience caught up with me after a few days. I couldn’t
stand it anymore and I told Mom everything, every detail. She cried,
of course, scared for my life, afraid of what could have happened to
me, and through her gentle tears she grounded me — for an entire
month! Why, might you ask, did I tell her? Trust me, I asked myself
that same question every day of that miserable month. I could have
gotten away with it. I know that for a fact — or do I?
Sooner or later she would have probably found out about everything.
And if that had happened, she would have not only grounded
me, but would have lost all of her trust in me, as well. You see, after
the Mexico incident, after I had confessed and then served my sentence,
I eventually earned back my parents’ trust. In return, I was
given a later curfew, not to mention more privileges.
I didn’t tell my parents everything after that. Instead, we had a
system. I told Mom and Dad where I was going, when I would be
back and the important things that were happening in my life. It
turned out that superpsychic mom was cooler than I had originally
thought. I liked that she cared about me and my life, and I really
liked being able to share with her.
Over the years, Mom’s embarrassment factor has dimmed like
an old night light, but she remains the raging superhero she always
was. Even though I’m living one hundred miles away, she brings me
soup if I’m sick, helps with my work when I’m swamped and makes
sure that boyfriends are treating me right. She still has her crystal
ball on hand and will often call me on a bad day to cheer me up even
before I tell her that I was just fired, dumped or just plain lonely. She
has grown to be my best friend, and even though I don’t live at home
anymore, I still confide in her and tell her everything. Well — almost.
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Love & Friendship
I have THREE (count'em! THREE) Chicken Soup for the Soul books to give away.
- Moms & Sons - Stories by Mothers and sons, in Appreciation of Each Other
- Like Mother, Like Daughter - Stories about the Special Bond between Mothers and Daughters
- Moms Know Best - Stories of Appreciation for Mothers and Their Wisdom
So, all you have to do is be leave me a comment and tell me which book you want. I'll randomly choose the winner on Shortman's birthday - October 16th - in honor of the day I became a mom!