Andrea Askowitz

Author & Teacher

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,


Thank you for parenting me.  As I remember, childhood was pretty good. You were attentive and sweet mostly and while I don’t remember making sculptures out of popsicle sticks or homemade Play-Doh, I do remember  getting lots of your attention.  How did you do it for so many years?


I am having trouble right now.  To be frank, Tashi is bugging the shit out of me.  And Sebastian is a monster.  But the real problem is how Tashi is always underfoot.  I remember this being a problem of yours too.  It is the one thing I remember us consistently fighting about.  You stepping on my toes.  It didn’t bother me, but I remember you getting a little hysterical sometimes, like when you would take a step onto my toes and then fall down.  Well, what goes around, comes around, as they say.  Tashi is just like me.  Somehow she manages to be always under my feet.  It’s hard when I’m wearing my platform flip-flops.


Oh, I know I shouldn’t complain.  I see how sad it makes you now-a-days when I don’t want to sit on your lap.  I saw it on Sunday, when you gave me that look and then patted your thighs and I said, “Oh Mom.”  But Mom, I can’t eat a meal without my little curly girl climbing on top of me.


And why did I think shopping for first-grade school supplies would be fun?  That fiasco was my own fault in so many ways.  First because I’ve raised a spoiled, rotten, persistent princess and second because I let myself get overly excited to get the supplies in the first place.  My elation came crashing down seven minutes into shopping when Tashi begged for the pretty pink scissors.  I agree, they were pretty, but I had already crossed scissors off the list because she has six pairs at home.  I said, “NO NEW SCISSORS!  You have six pairs at home.”  I felt strong for the first hour, but each time she begged I felt her wearing me down.  I stood strong though, thanks to you and all that I learned watching you fend me off all those years.  Still, it was exhausting and I don’t look forward to doing shopping for school supplies again next year or the next or the next.  I know, just eleven more years.


Another thing:  Why did I think bike riding with a 6 1/2 year-old would be fun?  It’s not.  We had fun though, you and I, didn’t we, when I’d jog and you’d ride next to me and we’d talk?  Well, I’ve been trying to replicate those good times.  Today, when we rode to camp because I crashed the van into a parked Jaguar and now it’s in the shop, I said, “Right turn!”  Tashi screamed, “Why are you always talking about bike stuff?” I said, “Bike stuff? I’m just telling you which way to turn.”  My point is, she was being a bitch for no reason.  And she was swerving into traffic.


She’s tired, I know.  She slept in bed with me last night because Victoria’s out of town and also because there was a big spider in her room, which was no Daddy Long Legs.  I killed it and then took it’s picture and we looked it up on the Internet.


Can’t say exactly what kind it was because I’m no arachno-specialist, but it was brown and hairy with a very big butt.  Also, Tashi didn’t sleep that well on account of it being crowded and with Beast breathing in our faces all night.  He gets protective when Victoria’s not around.  So I should have some compassion.  I remember how I could never fall asleep because it was so much fun being in your bed with you and Chaucer whenever Dad had poker night.


I know I should quit my bitching.  It wasn’t that bad sharpening all 48 pencils and putting Tashi’s name on them with the Sharpie.  She did a bunch of them herself and only cried twice because she messed up and couldn’t erase.  For some reason she thought her initials were N-H.  When I asked how she got that she said, “Nataaaasha.”  And it’s okay that I didn’t get to read the New York Times last night because I had to turn the light off for her.  And we did make it to camp safely, although we were an hour and a half late and I didn’t get to work until noon.  No big deal. I’m just writing to say that I like being a parent.  It’s the parenting that’s annoying.  I appreciate you doing it for me.  Thanks Mom.