Dear Mom: You Were Right


I know you’ve been waiting to hear these three little words for years. How do I know? Because I’ve seen it happen over the years, your face would light up every time Dad thought he knew what time to leave to beat the traffic and that you were wrong and he was right. Then, while stuck in grid-lock traffic, you would soak up all the cussing and honking and red brake lights, a little smirk creeping onto your face from the passenger seat.

Because you were right.

Over the years, you tried to teach me not to procrastinate. You tried to sit down with me and help me schedule my time. I know that you know this, but I would sometimes agree to sit with you at the kitchen table to make a plan of how I would tackle it all. But I was barely listening. You would want me to prioritize and get a head start on reading the book and then writing the paper. But I was barely listening.

So I didn’t get that head start. And then the night before it was due, of course I had cheerleading practice until 9:30 at night (which you tried to tell me during the barely-listening session). So I closed my bedroom door and stayed up until 2 am trying to crank out a bogus paper on a book I barely read. You hated to see me suffer, so I know you stayed up in the room next to me, waiting for my light to turn off. You wrote me a note to skip first period for a “doctor’s appointment” and you handed it to me with those talking eyes.

Because you were right.

I wish I could say things improved after that one late night. But they didn’t. If anything, things got worse and regrets piled higher. I turned into a brat. Those three little words were the enemy. Even if you had held me down while I was kicking and screaming, I wouldn’t have told you those three little words. I hated those three little words with a passion.

Because you were right.

And I wanted to be right.

When I was really little, it was more about our artistic differences. I wanted to wear a tutu over top of hot pink striped biker shorts to school. Your tastes were a little different. You thought the flower dress with the tights looked like the more sensible choice.

When I got older, it was more about our vocabulary differences. I wanted to say, “I hate you” and “This is a joke” and “Why should I care?”. Your vocabulary was a little different. You thought it was better to say, “I will always love you, but right now I don’t like you” and “I am sorry” and “You were right.” We must have learned different vocabulary words in school, and for this I am sorry.

Because you were right.

And here’s the thing, the thing I’m trying to say: if I could take back all the times I talked back and basically spit in your face, I would. Dad told me sometimes when I would make you cry. My words pierced you so hard, so deep, that you would lock yourself in the bathroom for the world’s longest bubble bath and just cry. For this, I am so very sorry.

Because you were right.

You warned me that one day my little brother would grow up, bigger and stronger than I was. You warned me that all those years of me picking on him—pinching him, hitting him, showing him who was boss—would catch up to me. Then That Big Day came. Suddenly, he was taller and stronger and his voice was deeper. He tried to attack me after years of pent-up frustration. You broke us apart and then you didn’t have to say much. Your silence said it all.

Because you were right.

And, today, I wish you would stop the silence. Because now I know what that silence means. I’ve felt it in sunburn when I didn’t reapply. I’ve felt it in the rush when I didn’t pack my lunch the night before. I’ve felt it in sickness when I didn’t slow down. I’ve felt it in heartbreak when I didn’t see the signs that he didn’t love me.

And all those times, you could have just told me what to do. You could have just forced me down a path. You could have just said, “I told you so.”

But, better than just a mother—more like a sister or a best friend who tries to steal my clothes—you’ve picked me up after all the moments when you could have rubbed it in my face. You’ve wiped my tears and held me close.

You’ve suffered your own heartbreak as you’ve waited for your little brat to grow up and learn those three little words.

So hear them today. Let them soak in. You deserve them.

You were right.

8 responses to “Dear Mom: You Were Right”

  1. Love this…

  2. Carolyn Ashcraft Avatar
    Carolyn Ashcraft

    You’ve done it with this one, Ashley. Every mother and daughter can see herself at some time in this scenario. And many wish they had spoken or heard these words.

    Sent from my iPad


    1. Thank you 🙂 That is so good to hear. I love when I can tell my stories and have people join in to relate in their own ways. Love you and miss you!

  3. Truly my most favorite three words are “I love you”! Thank you so much for continuing to show your love through your writing. You are a beautiful daughter.
    I Love You,

    1. I Love You, Mom! ❤ You are a beautiful mother. SEE you soon!

  4. 😥 ❤ 😂 🤗 😘

  5. […] Pride stops us from wanting to thank someone we love for a great idea that leads to an accomplishment. I write off my mom’s ideas all the time (and then write essays about how she was actually right all along). […]

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