My mom tried to have nice things…

My brothers and I, plotting nefarious deeds circa 1976
My brothers and I, plotting nefarious deeds circa 1976


My mother tried to create a beautiful home for us. Being an artist, she’s all about the visual. Being kids, well, we were busy being kids. We weren’t horrible kids – we didn’t intentionally break stuff. It just happened.

Like the bookcase at the top of the stairs. My mom kept all the kids books in there, nestled in the hallway between the boys room and my room.  I actually loved that bookcase, with its two glass doors that slid up and out of the way. Which is why I’m still ashamed that I broke it.

Really, it wasn’t my fault, it was my brother’s fault. See, we were fighting, as only 10 and 13 year old siblings can do, and I threw a baby rattle at him. Because my brother is not dumb, he darted out of the way. So the rattle went straight through the glass of the bookcase door. The next few minutes were a bit “Oooo! You broke it!” and me going “It’s your fault! You moved!”

I was ten, that was a logical argument.

We solved the problem by just lifting and sliding the bookcase door into its hidden upright position and sweeping up the rest of the glass. We had gotten away with it….until the day my mom went to close that bookcase door and the rest of the glass still in the frame came crashing down.

My brother was still no fool. “Phoebe did it!”

I was still a fool. “Nuh uh! He moved! If he hadn’t moved, that wouldn’t have gotten broken!”

I got in trouble for that one.

Not telling mom about things sort of became standard. Basically, we were gaslighting the poor woman. Then again, we heard her talk about how she hated coming home to hear “It’s okay, we cleaned it up, no one got hurt.”, so really, we were just trying to do her a favor.

But one day, she came home and said “What happened to the back porch?”

We gave her blank stares. “Huh?”

“The porch! The back porch! It’s missing a railing!”

“Oh, that’s where Joe had to cut Patrick head out last month.”


In his defense, Patrick was three, and he had a big noggin. My oldest son has the same big noggin. But yeah, three year old Patrick got his head stuck between two of the wooden railings on the porch. Joe, at seventeen, finally got out the saw and neatly cut out the porch railing to free Patrick. Which, as Joe stated, was nicer than cutting Patrick’s head off.

So when, fast forward to my own motherhood, my two year old son got stuck in the body of the wooden rocking airplane, and uttered his first words of “I’m TUCK! I’m TUCK!”, I just casually eyed him, called Josh, and asked “Where’s the allen wrench?”


“Because your son is stuck in the airplane.”

“Oh. Check the drawer in the kitchen….”

Don't worry Mom, now my kids ruin my things!
Don’t worry Mom, now my kids ruin my things!


This is part of the 31 Days writing challenge…to find out more about it or read more from this challenge, check out the 31 Days page!