A lot of people have been asking me how I came up with the title for my new book, "Why Does My Mother's Day Potted Plant Always Die?"
Well . . . I'm not exactly proud of this, but here goes.Last year on Mother's Day, I was definitely ready to put in for early retirement. It had been one of the those hectic Sunday mornings trying to get all the kids ready for church on time.
My husband was off to a meeting somewhere. I had been flapping around the house all morning squawking, "Why do you always lose your left shoe?" "We're going to be late!" "No you may not wear your smelly tennis shoes." "We're going to be late!" "I want everyone to get in here and try to use the bathroom before we go . . . now!" "We're going to be late!" "Why do you always mess your pants right when it's time to go?" "We're going to be late!"
Finally, I got all the kids into the car and raced down to the church. Once there, I quickly pushed all the kids down the aisle and plopped down on the bench totally frazzled, out of breath and . . . late.
Then we had one of those wonderful Mother's Day programs in which everyone stands up and tries to make me feel terrible. I remember one particular gentleman who stood up and with much sincerity stated, "My mother, never, no never, not even one little time, raised her voice in our home."
I sank down in my seat and glanced down at my tribe. I knew if they held an election for Mother of the Year, I would lose by six votes, all cast by my own children.
After the flowing tributes were over, someone ordered all the mothers to stand up. Then they handed each stand-upper a beautiful little potted plant.
I took mine home and put it on the window sill above my kitchen sink. I tried my best to keep it alive. First the leaves fell off. Then the stem started looking pale. I fertilized, watered and chanted over it. I mean, letting your Mother's Day plant die must be a bad omen. But no matter what I did, it was lights out. My plant had definitely kicked the bucket.
Later, I went to my neighbors to borrow some eggs. When we went into her kitchen, I noticed this beautiful plant on her kitchen table with shiny leaves and vibrant stems bursting with enormous flowers. I commented on how beautiful the plant was.
"Oh that old thing," my neighbor said. "It's just that puny potted plant they gave us in church on Mother's Day.
I felt like slowly melting and squeezing under the door in a quick exit. I knew I was the only mother on the planet who murdered all her Mother's Day potted plants. I was absolutely sure it was a barometer of my mothering abilities. I wasn't just depressed, I felt I needed to repent or something.
Hence the title, "Why Does My Mother's Day Potted Plant Always Die?"
So if you're not quite ready for sainthood and find yourself a fellow maniac mother and potted plant murderer, stay in bed this Sunday. Unless of course they pull a dirty trick on you as they did on me this year.
"Mrs. Baadsgaard," said a serious male voice over the telephone.
"I think so," I answered.
"We'd like you and your family to put on our Mother's Day program this year."