And the award goes to…
Me? [gapes at the camera and rises to her feet] Do not trip. Do not trip. Do not trip. Do not pull a Jennifer Lawrence. Don’t you dare flash the crowd your granny panties. [applause dies down to silence as the award winner slowly ascends the stairs to the stage]
I just have to ask….did I actually win this? Or is this another LaLa Land/Moonlight situation? [awkward laughter] Because possession is nine-tenths of the law, right?
When I was a kid, I sometimes imagined winning awards like this on big televised broadcasts. Although, if I’m honest, my daydreams were more of a Valentino/Oscar de la Renta/Zac Posen situation…I can’t say I ever imagined I’d be on stage wearing high-waisted skinny jeans and a sweatshirt covered in crusty oatmeal from my toddler’s breakfast. With a mom bun. And if I’m really honest, I’m not even sure which award I’m accepting right now, because I was thinking about stopping to buy diapers on my way home when the nomination was read. Also my brain is broken after being hammered to bits by motherhood, hormones, and stress.
I don’t see Meryl, Beyonce, or Lin-Manuel in the crowd tonight, so it can’t be one of the big ones. [inspects golden trophy] Hold up–Mother of the Year?! Ahahahahahahahahahahaha. [snorts] Now I know this is a joke. Or a dream…which would explain why my high school Spanish teacher and that girl from my college dorm are in the front row. Wait, are Jimmy Fallon and Brett Goldstein also projections of my subconscious? Boo. Anyway. Mother of the Year?! Did anyone actually vote on this? [inaudible from the audience] My kids did? Oh my gosh.
Every day I vow not to yell at my kids, then a tiny person smears another booger on the wall and I lose it. And now you’re telling me those tiny people chose me as Mother of the Year. I am sleep-deprived and my default mode is hangry with a side of resentment. I have Dr. Becky’s parenting book on my shelf but haven’t cracked it open once since I bought it in September. My kids get way more screen time than they should, and they’ve heard a few four-letter words that they shouldn’t. Most days, I’m not doing much better than the mom who had to call police for help telling her twins apart.
Now, If you have an award here for someone who can carry a trunkful of grocery bags into the house without breaking a single egg, I’m your girl. A prize for knowing how many bowel movements each child has had on a given day and what their favorite flavor toothpaste is? Bam. Award for forgetting to brush a child’s teeth or going way too long between haircuts and nail trims? Yep. But Mother of the Year? Even the statuette I’m holding looks exhausted and fragile. Wait, is this supposed to look like me? Did you guys model this after the picture of me picking sand out of my eyes at the beach last summer? Is this just another plastic action figure for me to trip on?
I’m sure if the Academy were comprised of more than my three progeny, the results would’ve been different. But, skewed as they are, I want to thank the Academy for giving me this award. I hope that all the Uno games, inside jokes, and bedtime stories are more salient in your mind than anything I said or did when I was hangry. Or when you pooped at an inconvenient time. Thank you to my little castmates for challenging me in a way that no other person, job, or experience could. Thank you for wet kisses, surprise tackles, and hand-written cards to keep in my nightstand and read after a day on which I think I failed as your mom. Thank you for loving me in spite of my flaws, and I’m sorry that I’ve probably passed them to you through genetics and environment.
I’d also like to thank my spouse, for being a wonderful crew member/parenting partner and also someone I can point to and blame when things go off the rails. Thank you to other moms for sharing their wisdom and to my dog for therapeutic snuggles on the couch. I’d also like to thank my minivan for not breaking down on the drive here, whoever told me to start using serums on my face a few years ago, and my parents for getting me braces. I’m sorry I stopped wearing my retainer.
And finally, John Legend, you might have an EGOTSMA, but now I’ve completed the first stage of achieving something you’ll never have: with Mother-of-the-Year, that’s MEGOT status. To quote Lightning McQueen, “Ka-Chow!” Goodnight.
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This post is part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to view the next post in the series “Acceptance Speech.”