Don’t Tell Mom!

Pam Pollock
May 2022

“Don’t tell Mom!”   Growing up as the youngest of three kids (and the only girl), my older brothers implored that of me… a lot, especially the brother who is three years older than me.  I was a teeny, tiny, scrawny, sickly kid and when my siblings and I were playing, they would be rough horsing and inevitably I would get hurt.  I was a wailer (I still am!) and the tears would be flowing, and I would be on the verge of full-blown caterwauling and my brother would be begging me to not tell my Mom.  He would promise me the moon if I kept quiet.  Spoiler alert – I ran right to my Mom and squealed like a pig.

When I was eighteen years old and working at Larry’s Truck Stop in Barkeyville, my parents would either let me use their car or my Dad would take me to work and pick me up for months so I could save up enough money to buy a brand new car. Their car was a 70s something Dodge Dart with a V-8 engine.  One day I was working the 4-midnight shift and I got to drive the car to work.  After work, some of the boys who I worked with, and I decided to go drag racing.  We drove into the town that’s about 9 miles away and foolishly raced through the main street.  I pretty much floored that Dodge and hit the railroad tracks much faster than I should have. The sound was deafening when I came down on those tracks.  I was in fear for my life – of what my parents would say if I had messed up something on the car.  I sheepishly drove home doing about 30 mph and then spent the rest of the night on my knees looking out my bedroom window at the car and praying to Jesus that my Dad would not have any issues when he went out at 6:30 am to go to work.  “Oh Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, “ I implored.  “Let the car be ok and don’t let my Mom and Dad find out what I have done.”  Spoiler alert – the car was ok, but I am probably going to get grounded when my Dad reads about what I did, 42 years later!

You reap what you sow, and when I became a parent, there were many instances of my kids saying, “Don’t tell Mom!”, including my daughter getting a tattoo and my son falling off a very high cliff and into the water during his high school graduation trip with friends.

Last year I made some solo trips to go birding.  I would get up before 5:00 am and drive 3-4 hours to the location, walk and take photos and then drive back home.  I would always tell my husband as I was leaving, “Don’t tell my Mom!”  She never stopped worrying about me, even though I am 60 years old,  and so I would wait until I was almost home to call and tell her what I had done. 

On the flip side, my Mom and I both loved/love to dote on my grandkids, giving them sugary treats – way too many sugary treats!  “Don’t tell your Mom!” was/is our battle cry.  “Your Mommy will be really mad at us!”  The grandkids, with their forbidden treasures, assure us that “mum is the word!”  Spoiler alert – as soon as they arrive back at their house, they  run right to their Mommy and squeal like a pig… karma bites me in the butt once again!

This is my first Mother’s Day without my Mom beside me.  Yes, there were lots of instances of me not telling Mom many things – but I am so glad that I did always tell her that I love her, I admire her, I appreciate her, and I will always need her.  And that will never change.