When Mini Me (Jack. He is 17 and a senior in high school now) was two or so, I had an epiphany. I was in dire need of adult conversation. Mini Me was in dire need of child conversation. Also, I did not think I could stand to play Blue’s Clue’s anymore. I just could not be Steve again. Mini Me got to make all the rules whenever we played anything. He was very hard to play with because everything had to be his way or the highway. I decided that I would go out and get a job! I would get a job doing just about the only thing I was actually qualified to do-that would also allow me to bring Mini Me along: teaching pre-school. And so I did. I was happy, and so was Mini Me. We had some time away from each other and we were happier when we were together. I was bringing home a little extra money. It was a win-win situation any way that I looked at it. I loved getting Mini Me’s little art projects out of his bag each day, and hanging them up on the fridge. I was so proud of his work. I still am. He was and continues to be a very talented artiste. We had a routine and that alone helped us a lot. We were going right along, doing our thing. Things were going well at pre-school. We had a little problem with some biting, but Mini Me was just biting back. This little girl in his class was biting him first and he was just doing unto her what she had done unto him. This was, actually, the truth. Then, Mini Me decided that biting was kind of fun, well, until I decided to bite him back. That pretty much but a stop to his biting issue.
Valentine’s Day was rapidly approaching. I was getting excited, and not for the reason that you might think. I have never been a big Valentine’s Day celebrant. I think of it as a Hallmark Holiday. I think it is seriously cheesy, but whatever. Anyway. I was so excited because I knew that Mini Me was going to bring me my very first Valentine that he had ever made for me. I was going to keep it forever and ever. I would be able to pull it out of a box and show his wife one day and say, “See, so and so, this is the very first Valentine that Jack made for me. He was 2 and a half years old”…… Little did I know that this was not in the cards for me. At least not this year.
On Valentine’s Day, Mini Me and I got home from school and I was getting his stuff out of his bag. I found this beautiful painted arrow that was made out of one of the cardboard rolls inside a roll of paper towels. It had a red tip that was made out of construction paper and then more construction paper bristly pieces on the bottom end. It was, and is to this day, one of the coolest kids’ Valentine’s Day art projects I have ever seen. I must have ooo’ed and ahhh’ed when I pulled it out of his bag, because Mini Me came back into the kitchen and was standing beside me. “There is a note in it”, I can remember him saying to me. I can remember turning the arrow on end and pulling that piece of paper out, anticipating what lovely thing was going to be written on it. Was it going to say, “I love you Mommy” ? or “To the Best Mommy Ever”? I carefully unrolled the piece of paper. I read it. Then I read it again. I was certain that I had read it wrong. Did I need glasses? Was I drunk? I read it one more time to be sure. The damn thing said, “I love you MIMI , Love, CUPID” What the hell? Mimi? That is MY mother, for the love of GOD! Seriously?! I looked at it one more time. “Do you think her is going to love it?”, Mini Me asked me. I did not want him to see that I was about to cry, so I looked the other way and got a grip real fast. “Oh yeah, “ I said, “her is really gonna love it!”.