The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Sunday, June 07, 2009


Surreal City Scene in Suburbia

Monday was my daughter’s first day back at school after a two-week break. We went shopping so I could return some sweaters.

That was the plan. What resulted was anything but. The trip to the mall was one big exercise in getting something/having anything.

I was trying to look at bras with my five-year old. Now, a woman cannot be rushed when deciding on a bra. Mimi put one around her neck. “Does this fit?” she asked.

I laughed, but stopped when she darted. “I want something!” she yelled while grabbing underwear. “Please!?! Just this one thing?”

“Mimi, you’re too young for a thong,” I tried to reason.

There was no reasoning and it soon became apparent there was even less reason to stay. This resulted in a full-on tantrum. I led her by the hand to the car, her screams trailing behind.

There was a van parked extremely close to us. Its wheels were on the white line that should have separated our two vehicles. Mimi flung open the door and it hit the van, which was impossible to avoid.

I got her into the car seat and sort of noticed a guy getting out of the van and back in. When I opened my door, it scraped his. I got into my car and he bounded out.

It took me a second or two to realize how angry he was. “What’s wrong with you? Don’t you have any respect? What’s wrong with you?”

My first thought: Fuck you. (Once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker.) But just as quickly, I thought: I have a child. So I calmly put the key in the ignition and said, “I’m sorry. You’re right. I was inconsiderate. It was my fault. I’m sorry, sir.”

He took a step toward our car. I wondered if he was going to smash the window.

“I should kick your fucking ass,” he said. “I should. I should do it. I should kick your ass.”

It is not so unusual to see this in New York, but in suburban Marin, it is. And, it was made more surreal because my child was there. I apologized, looked away, calmly closed the door, LOCKED it, put the car in reverse, and drove away.

“Why was that man so mad, Mommy?” Mimi asked.

“Some people are just mad, Mimi." I realized the irony as five minutes earlier I was that angry. “And sometimes people act out because they can’t express their feelings.”

She seemed to consider my words. I thought about them, too.

“Mimi, I know that being a child is really hard for you. You don’t like being told what to do. But you’ll get older. It’ll get easier. And no matter what, I’ll always love you. Always.”

I reached my hand out behind me and she held it. I smiled at her reflection in the mirror and she smiled at mine.

By Dawn Yun

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I love the edginess of this piece, and your soft response was interesting to think about.

It certainly would've had a different outcome if you had just let him have it. But, ewe!
Yikes. I'm afraid I've been in that situation too. Really scary. But, in the end, it's all material. Must have felt nice to exorcise it! Laura-Lynne
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