To the gas station clerk about to close when I come busting through the door at 10:02 pm and make a beeline for the milk cooler: I’m sorry, and thank you. Breakfast time is a lot less stressful when there’s no one crying about dry cereal.
To my chickens: Thanks for understanding that half the time I can’t physically get out of the door of my house to let you out of the coop until after 10 am. Please don’t hold it against me. And please start laying eggs soon.
To the friend across the table: yes, I see my daughter chewing on her silverware and putting obscene amounts of butter on her bread. But more importantly, I see you. And I want to talk to you. We may have to remind ourselves to focus five times a minute, but our time together is worth it.
To the person on the phone: I’m sorry it sounds like I have Tourrette’s Syndrome. Wow, really? I think – STOP PUTTING YOUR FINGER IN THE BABY’S EAR – we can do that. I promise I’m listening. I’m just also playing referee.
To my husband: Buddy, someday soon I will be able to wipe the sleep out of my eyes, join you for breakfast every day, and have a real, uninterrupted conversation. It’ll be like a date every morning, except that I might also make the coffee, scramble the eggs, and will more than likely be wearing fleece and stretch pants.
To the grocery store checkout lady: Yes, I’m telling you that before my daughter ate the majority of one banana, the bunch weighed two and half pounds. Thank you for trusting me.
To anyone entering my home: There may be dust lions in the corners, lady bugs on the ceiling, and soap rings on the bathroom sink. I have learned to stop stressing, do what I can, and be patient with the rest. I hope you can too.
To the highway patrolman: Thank you for the warning.
To my Ellis: Thank you for climbing on my back when I do push ups, pinching me in the bum with the salad tongs, destroying every block tower I build with you, and telling me to CALM DOWN. You keep me laughing.
To the people behind us in church: I’m sorry we’re distracting. I’m sorry we’re almost always late, make a fair amount of noise, and rarely stop moving during the service. We love being a part of this community, and we are thankful for your graciousness.
To our parents: I know your time is precious, and the fact that you choose to share it with us so often inevitably means a sacrifice of something else. What you may not know is that your granddaughter thanks her Jesus for you at almost every meal, and we do the same whenever we think of you. PS. We owe you a million cherry pies.
To my classmates, professors, and writing group: A majority of my subject matter now seems to be about babies, mothering, and crap I probably should have known before starting this parenthood journey but am now stuck clumsily learning along the way. Thanks for understanding that sometimes writing has to come from where we’re at.
To my Gabby: You are precious, happy, and full of smiles. I’m sorry your sister is forever lying on your stomach if we nurse because you happen to be an extra inch longer and she fits better in the crook of the arm-chair.
To my Lucy: You are treasured, spirited, and always ready to snuggle. I’m sorry your sister’s squalling is usually what you have to wake up to. If it’s any consolation, it means you get to eat more because that’s the best way to calm you down.
To the UPS guy: I’m sorry I answered the door last week in a princess dress, plastic jewelry, and baseball cap. I hope you had a good laugh later.
To You: I’m sorry. I’m sorry that someone, or something, has made you and I want to apologize for everything in our lives that isn’t perfect. Isn’t straight. Isn’t plumb. Isn’t clean. Isn’t smart. Isn’t fair. Isn’t pretty. Isn’t on our terms of time.
Because even for all that, we are wanted.
For all our messiest messes, we are still full of worth.
For all our self-perceived shortcomings, we are still wonderful.
And for everything we HAVE to do make it through the day, there’s always more to who we ARE. No apologies needed.