One night, as she was getting ready to go out, I put a note in my mom's papers that said: "Hi Mom, I just wanted to give you this note to say hi. I love you. Please don't tell anyone I put this note in here." I was twelve.
She was going to a weekly, evening meeting with some group of educators, one of whom was a friend of my mom's -- Mrs. Lazar -- who came over after the meeting. I went into the kitchen as they fixed themselves drinks and munched on a bag of microwave popcorn.
When Mrs. Lazar saw me, she said, "We got your note."
In my memory Mrs. Lazar looked at my mother even though she was talking to me. Like she was watching my mother's reaction. And my mother, with all her gorgeous brown hair and silk blouse and gold jewelry, showed us her back. She continued to do whatever she was doing at the stainless steel sink. I think she felt really bad for sharing that note and didn't want to turn around.
I think she feels really bad generally for all the mean things she said and did. It really breaks my heart.
And how about Mrs. Lazar? Just as my Mom betrays me, she betrays my mom. Right? Maybe I'm reading too much into this. Too bad Mrs. Lazar didn't scoop me up right then and there and say to me "you are so great to write that note and I know your Mom really liked it and she was so happy to get it that she just had to share it with us."
Too bad. Because instead I was totally mortified. Like lobster-face humiliated. Like wow I felt silly for reaching out to my mom. What a mistake.