When I was five, I told the ladies at church that Mama gave me cat food as a snack (it was really Cracklin' Oat Bran), brought a horse into her house ten years later, and in later years would ride the same horse across the pasture, no saddle or bridle. It's no wonder why by the time I left home, Mama's once perfect face was contorted into an expression of permanent alarm, and her jet-black hair was painted with gray streaks. She'd get her revenge by regaling my boyfriends with stories of my adventures.
"Wait and see," she'd say as I laughed. "You get back what you dish out."
I never understood what she meant, or thought that for one moment it might be parent's curse until I had children of my own. Both put me through the parental wringer. As infants, both Jonathan and Joseph waited until we were in public to loudly pass gas. No one ever believed the baby did it.
And Being a parent has been an educational experience. Thanks to my boys, I've learned that cell phones don't float in water, and a family Dalmatian can be the victim of dot-to-dot sessions, performed with a marker. There have been portraits on crumpled paper, created with my best makeup. Once, Joseph announced my bra preferences in the middle of Target, and I've had to rescue my underwear off the family dog on more than one occasion, sometimes in front of company.
My mother was right. I did get back all the antics that I gave her and more. But because of my children, I received the ability to enjoy the little things in life, to love deeper, and find humor in any situation. I wouldn't trade that for the world.