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The gift

“That’s why you didn’t get chocolates! You got the gift of no longer being humiliated!”

Those were the exact words spoken by my nine-year-old daughter after I revealed the contents of the big box on my dresser on Valentine’s Day. I’d be lying if I said that didn’t sting.

I thought I had done a good job of keeping my feelings to myself, but obviously, I failed.

Mothers know better than that. Well, the good ones do.

You probably want to know what was in the package.

Tucked carefully inside the cardboard box was a shiny new black folding mirror for my car.

You see, back in December, there was a single vehicle accident involving myself, a bag of peanut M&M’s and my garage wall.

But none of it would have happened if I hadn’t volunteered. It was the perfect storm of paint, glitter, and asshattery. As mothers under the influence of Pinterest do, I took an easy task and created a nightmare.

Impaired by a bizarre glitter injury, my body and soul needed chocolate. Over 48 hours had passed with no sleep or shower, but I would not be deterred.

With my disheveled hair covered by a baseball cap, pulled lower on my face than necessary, I double checked to make sure I was wearing a bra and set out for the store.

I was in line when I noticed the blood.

See, when you accidentally stab yourself with a screwdriver while opening a canister of glitter, it hemorrhages quite a bit. Blood was flowing from my hand down my forearm onto the crisp white tiles of the floor. The napkins at the register coupled with a Purell wipe from my purse were my only cleaning supplies. I was the Lady Macbeth of the Chevron Station on Highway 8. So much for staying low key.

By the time I got home, I just wanted to sleep.

As soon as my garage door opened, I attempted to navigate into my parking space carefully avoiding Santa’s workshop on the left and the glittered elves on the right.

I failed.


The exterior shell of the mirror was destroyed and my insurance agent husband, a more Scrooge than St. Nick, was infuriated.

There would be no claim. We do not file claims.

By February the mirror was barely holding on. Every wire and cable were exposed like the robotic assassin from the Terminator. To make matters worse, one of those wires made a screeching noise akin to primeval cat shriek every time I locked the doors.

That was embarrassing.

I felt it, but I guess I was saying it too. Otherwise, my nine-year old’s reaction would’ve been more like my sixteen years old’s.

One look in the box and then over at me. “Nothing says romance like car parts, right Mom?”

—Heather Burnett

Heather Burnett is a mother, writer, reluctant housemaid, overthinker and creative Genius Behind the Word to Your Mother Blog.

Reflections of Erma