A year ago today, I launched this website www.i-am-a-mom.com on Mother’s Day. It began with some funny stories about being a Mom, making all of my friends laugh. When I joined Twitter, I began to reach a larger audience. With the story “Peanut Meets Ronald McDonald” in July 2014, my site became global when MacDonald’s tweeted the story as a most read. In the following month, I had another surge when “My Captain, My Captain” was published on the Tribute Wall for Robin Williams http://www.robin-williams.net/tributes.php. Through the laughter and the tears, this site has continued to grow to 5000 followers in 48 countries. I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for supporting www.i-am-a-mom.com. Happy Anniversary to www.i-am-a-mom.com!
We called my brother Scooter, because he was always crashing his scooter and breaking his arms. In one corner of his room there was a pile of his casts that had been cut off. He called them his trophies. I just called them gross and smelly. Our neighborhood hero for his stunts, he always drew a crowd. His fans’ signatures covered all of his casts.
In preparation for his next big stunt, I made posters and taped them to the telephone poles all over the neighborhood. As his manager, I sold admission tickets for $.75 per kid at school and on the way home all week. This was our biggest box office yet.
On the big day, scooter emerged in his best Evel Knievel costume made out of a white jumpsuit he took from our sister Lindsey’s closet with the cape from his superman pajamas pinned to the collar. To get the crowd excited, he circled around the driveway on his bike popping wheelies and waving to his fans. The crowd started chanting, “Scoo-ter, Scoo-ter, Scoo-ter.” Getting louder and louder until they drowned out all other noises on our street.
Standing in the driveway channeling my inner Barnabus Bailey, I raised my hands to quiet the crowd. Sweeping my hands to Scooter, I shouted “Ladies and Gentlemen be prepared to be amazed! Scooter will attempt his most daring feat ever. He will climb up the ladder in the garage, cross the beams and jump into this pile of empty burlap sacks.”
A hush fell over the crowd as Scooter began his accent up the ladder and into the rafters. Barely breathing, we watched him balance as he carefully put one foot in front of the other to cross the side and center beams. He was halfway across, when someone yelled “Go Scooter!” breaking his concentration.
Suddenly his foot slipped and he came tumbling down catching the jumpsuit on a nail in the center beam, and hanging there for a moment. With a loud ripping sound, he came crashing down onto the pavement just two feet away from his safety pile of sacks. The silence was broken, when Scooter yelled “not the jumpsuit! Lindsey’s gonna kill me!” Trying to push himself up, he hollered “Ough!” Looking at his face contorted in pain, I realized that he was not able to get up on his own. The show was over and I raced for help.
After another trip to the emergency room, Scooter returned with 2 new casts; one for each arm. There was a line out the door for days of his fans wanting to sign his casts and bring him presents. When the excitement died down, it was just me and Scooter sitting in a hot living room trying to pass the time.
Curled up in a chair next to Scooter lying on the couch, I was making sure that he stayed still. I had strict orders to fetch anything that he needed. As the temperature continued to rise on this hot June afternoon, what he needed most was to cool off. When he growled at me, I stood up and began to fan him with my mother’s Family Circle magazine. For a moment it helped and then he was miserable again. Leaning her head in the room, my mother asked, “How is he doing?” I shook my head, “Not well I’m afraid. He really needs to cool off.” Thinking for a minute, I asked “How about we all go to McDonalds? A nice cold shake will make him feel better.”
Bellying up to the counter, I said “Give your biggest chocolate shake to my friend here.” Reaching into my pockets, I pulled out a fist of coins from the tickets sold for his big stunt. Scattering them on the counter, I smiled at the cashier as I counted out my payment.
Sliding into his seat and resting his two casts on the table, he waited for me to join him with the chocolate shake. Sitting next to him, I held up the shake and put the straw in his mouth. He took a long draw from the straw and said “Ahh, a shake fixes everything.” He finally smiled and asked “I was great, wasn’t I?” As his greatest fan, I agreed “The best! And, next time you’ll be even better!”
“Today’s the Day!” I yelled running down the stairs for breakfast with the enthusiasm of Christmas morning. “I finally get to meet Ronald McDonald,” I screamed barely able to contain my excitement. Plopping into my seat at the kitchen today, I started gulping my cereal. “Peanut, Slow down!” my mother insisted. “You’ll get a stomach ache!” I was so focused on my goal of getting to the McDonalds’ opening that I couldn’t hear her, finishing my breakfast in record time.
Running upstairs, I brushed my teeth quickly. Then, I searched my closet for my best outfit. I had to look perfect to meet Ronald McDonald. Jumping out of my pajamas, I tried on my velvet dress from Christmas. “No this just won’t do,” I said throwing this dress on the bed. Continuing to rifle through my closet, I found my Cinderella princess costume. “Yes that is it!” I blurted excitedly as I threw the dress over my head.
When my mother entered my room, she raised an eyebrow asking me, “Are you sure you want to wear that to McDonalds?” Offended that she did not like my choice, I shook my head. “Zip my back please,” I requested, turning away from her. With my dress zipped, I turned my attention to my hair. Not just any braid would do. “Please give me a French braid,” I asked my mother. Finishing the braid, she said “there you look beautiful.” To complete the ensemble, I slipped my feet into my matching Cinderella ballet slippers. “Perfect,” I said and turned for the door.
Rallying the family, I ran through the house yelling, “Let’s go, let’s goooooo!” After what seemed like an eternity, they finally boarded the big yellow station wagon. To get the party started, I began singing like The Beatles “We all ride in the yellow submarine.” I was soon joined by my sister and brothers.
After we finished singing, I started frequently asking “How many more miles?” This was one of the longest 90 minutes of our lives. When I wasn’t asking about the miles, I was bouncing in my seat from the excitement. I was barely contained and driving my brothers crazy. They kept grabbing my braid to jerk me back into my seat. “Ouch!” I cried. Looking up, my mother said sternly, “don’t pull her hair!”
As we turned the corner and the golden arches came into view, I heard angels sing “Ah, Ah, Ah.” Jumping out of my seatbelt, I screamed “We’re here, we’re here!” My father barely had time to stop before I leaped out of the car to run for Ronald McDonald. Screeching to a halt, I ran into a long line of children waiting to see Ronald. “Oh, no! Where did all of these kids come from?” I whined. Without a choice, I joined the long line of children waiting to see Ronald.
Tapping my toes while I stood in line for 45 minutes, I was speechless when I finally reached Ronald. He was so tall and handsome in person. I found myself looking down at his enormous red shoes. Searching for the words to say, I started with “Umh, Umh.”
As they were pushing me to leave, I blurted out “wait! I have to tell Ronald McDonald that he’s the greatest.” Before I could finish, the Hamburglar raced in and grabbed a burger out of Ronald’s hands. “How dare he steal from Ronald?” I hollered. When he stopped running to hold up the burger and taunt Ronald, I lunged at the Hamburglar’s legs. Wrapping myself around his legs to stop him, I yelled “Quick Ronald grab your burger. I got him!” Stunned, Ronald was not sure what to do. My mom jumped in to save the situation. Pulling on my arms, she insisted “Peanut let go of the Hamburglar.” Shaking my head, I said emphatically “No, he stole Ronald’s burger. He needs to go to jail.”
Just when the situation seemed hopeless, Officer Big Mac walked in with the handcuffs to take the Hamburglar to jail. Once the Hamburglar was safely secured and handcuffed to Officer Big Mac, I released his legs and stood up. “He’s all yours Officer. I did my best to hold him for you,” I said proudly. Officer Big Mac nodded his head to me, and reached his hand out to shake my hand. But, the moment that I will never forget is when I turned around to see Ronald McDonald reaching into his sleeve and pulling out flowers. He smiled and handed them to me with a coupon for a free Happy Meal. Best day ever!