Crash! The glass came down and broke into a million pieces. It was my mom's favorite drinking glass, and it had been around way longer than I had. It was a silly glass with a picture of a clown that she'd gotten from some fair long ago. But it was precious to her. When we all ate together, it was understood that my mom would use the glass for her beverage. It was the Queen's goblet, even though the blue paint around the clown picture had faded.
And I had just destroyed it.
I burst into tears, wondering how in the world I'd get it back together by the time Mom came back from her shopping trip. I had been away at school and had taken the opportunity to come home, eat her food, and let her do my laundry. I had slept in and then gone to the kitchen to grab breakfast. Obviously, I had not been fully awake.
What was I to do? Ideas raced through my head. I could try something clever as they do in the movies and on TV: Someone watches a pet for a friend and somehow the pet winds up lost, and an attempt to replace it is made. But in my case, I'd have to travel to all the carnivals that had kept the same inventory for 20 years. I wouldn't know where to start.
No, I was alone with this one. My mom and sister were out, so it was just me and the dog. And even the dog ran and hid. I imagined Mom coming home and bursting into tears just as I had. She'd ship me back to school without my usual bag of cookies. This glass was like an old friend. I recalled stories of how, when pregnant with me, she would drink weird things like tomato juice and pickle relish from it.
My vision blurred by tears, I found the dust pan and broom, and scooped the pieces into a bag, as if maybe there was hope of putting it back together again. If only I knew a magician. I slumped down in a puddle where the glass had fallen.
"What are you doing on the floor?" Mom said as she came in with her bags.
"Wahhhhhhh!" I cried like a baby with the plastic bag in my hand. She dropped everything and came over.
"What is it, baby doll?" She asked, flustered, trying to wipe my eyes.
"I, I, I ... broke the cl-clown glaaassss!" Though I was nearly 20 years old, I may as well have been in kindergarten.
"Oh, no!" She said with just a hint of disappointment. "Well, are you OK?"
"Yeah, but I'm so sorry! It was an accident." I said as I gave her the bag of shards.
"Oh, well," she said. "It was just a glass. At least I still have my baby!"
She gave me a tight hug and big kiss as we were joined by my sister and dog. Being a mother is about understanding, grace, goodness, and unconditional love. After incidents like this, she's made me realize, even without having my own children, that I can share that mother-love every day.