Nancy Roman

Oh, Now I Understand

This morning at breakfast, I had some very nice toast and butter. My husband and I are careful with the carbs and the calories, so really good bread is a treat. We are also careful with the evening snacking, so I was really hungry.

But there was a pair of sad, pleading eyes staring up at me. A bottom lip thrust a little bit out.


And as hungry as I was, I gave that last bit of toast, so nicely buttered, to Theo.

Which of course made me think of:

My Mother.

Oh, she doesn’t have those mournful eyes or that trembling lip.


I’m thinking of her because now…

Now I understand.

I never had children of my own. Motherhood was a concept always just out of my reach, always just a bit out of focus.

But now I have a dog.

And now I am just a little bit closer to understanding motherhood. To understand my mother.

And I have something to say.

To Mom, who turns 94 this week, I’d like to say more than ‘Happy Birthday!’

I’d like to say:

“I’m sorry.”

I’m sorry for all the times you gave me the last cookie, the last M&M, the last piece of pie, when you really wanted it for yourself.

I’m sorry for all the times I acted like a brat to get your attention when you were with friends or talking on the telephone.


I’m sorry for all the times I was sick and I didn’t even try to make it to the bathroom, but threw up just wherever I happened to be.


I’m sorry for all the times that you were sick, but got up and got me fed and clean and dressed anyway.


I’m sorry for all the times you got me all bundled up in sweaters and snowpants and boots and scarves and mittens and hats and parkas – and then I stayed out for four minutes and wanted to come back in.



I’m sorry for all the times you told me that something was a really bad idea, and I did it anyway, and then I found out it was a really bad idea.

theo dirty

I’m sorry for all the times you were tired from your job and from making supper and from cleaning up from supper, and all you wanted to do was sit down and watch Andy Griffith, and I said: “Play with me!”

theo play w me

I’m sorry for all the things I broke because I wasn’t supposed to throw that thing in the house or run in my slippery socks or jump on the sofa.

I’m sorry for all the times I “helped” when I was much more of a nuisance than an actual help.



I’m sorry for all the noisy toys you ever bought me.

I’m sorry for all the times I whined and pleaded for new clothes that I just “had to have’ and then didn’t really like them that much after all.

theo coat


I’m sorry for all the times I didn’t come when you called me. I’m sorry for all the times you wondered where I was and for all the times you had to picture me lying in a ditch.

I’m sorry for all the times you had to step in and settle the petty squabbles I had with my siblings, when it would have been so much easier to let us kill each other.



I’m sorry for all the times I made a mess right after you cleaned the house.


Oh yes. Now I understand.

And I understand how a mother forgives even before you say:

“I’m Sorry.”


Happy Birthday, Mom!

Thanks for forgiving me for all that and more!

mom & me - through the years



  1. What a lovely post Nancy. I remember writing a letter to my parents years ago thanking them for ll they did for me. I am so glad I did that as they are both now long gone. Your mother will love this post as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a lovely idea, I am going to do just that now for Christmas! Thank you for this!


    • Thanks. My mother already knows how much I love her… but I am happy to put it in writing as often as I can.


  2. Beautifully done. Just be sure to make sure she sees it.


    • Thanks. I will. Although sometimes she is embarrassed to read about herself.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The greatest generation 👍


  3. Susan Ritchie

    Great post – give her a big hug and kiss from me, one of her “second” children.


    • I’ll give her your best!


    • Thanks, I’ll give her your love.


  4. Wish your mum a very Happy Birthday on my behalf! I hope she has a lovely day full of smiles and hugs and beautiful memories 🙂


    • Thank you. She has the heart of all her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, so will we ensure that her day is full of love.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love it! And thankfully having my mother still alive, two children and two dogs, I fully understand the feeling!! Great post!


    • Thanks. I have learned a lot about selfless love from my mother – and from my sweet dog too.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a wonderfully true admission and I think we all wish we had said we were “sorry” to our parents before they were gone. ((HUGS)) to Steffie for me, she is such a great example of motherhood. I should know as I was a witness and a benefactor of her loving care too as we were brought up in the “It Takes A Village” times and we had a great “village” of moms.


    • Our neighborhood, our childhood and all the people in it – I wouldn’t change it for the world!


  7. ❤️


    • Back at you, Elyse.


  8. Joyce in Kansas

    Love this post!


    • Thank you, Joyce in Kansas!


  9. Mums are so precious. Lovely post Nancy. Happy Birthday to your Mum.


    • Thank you – not all mothers are perfect, but mine was as close as you could get.


      • Our Mums are human, though as kids we see them as Supermums.


  10. When I had my son 24+ years ago, my mother (who had 7 children) compared children to dogs. I was so offended. Then I got a dog and saw that she was right. They behave exactly the same. Dogs do everything that kids do!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m told it’s just like having a toddler forever.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Many people have fur babies and not all people can have babies being a parent just doesn’t happen for them and their fur babies are so important to them, this at 55 I get at 25 I wouldn’t have


    • I do wish I had had children, but it’s wonderful that God gives us pets to love.


  12. Wishing your mother a very happy birthday. I hope her days ahead will be the best 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Karmelli's World

    Well said


  14. Reblogged this on ugiridharaprasad.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hello I hope all is moving smoothly


  16. Your mom is lucky to have lived long enough to see this, and you are very lucky to have her. But all that she did for you, all that she put up with–that’s what moms (at least the adequate-to-good ones) do. Now that I’m raising a grandchild I’m again getting along fine without that last cookie.


    • I know (from the dog) that the sacrifices are few and the rewards are great. I hope my Mom feels the same way.




  18. Erdoo Aker-kpev

    Mum’s are the best, and mine was the bestest! She had 5 of us and we NEVER lacked for anything, we were always the envy of our peers. Looking back as an adult now, I realise she and my Dad went with almost threadbare clothes and shoes to keep us in the best and send us to the best schools around. They’re both gone now, but their memory warms me up Every time! If they were still with us, I and my siblings would have laid the world at their feet for we realise what they did for us.
    Happy birthday to your mum, you’re blessed to still have her. Mine would have been 82 this year. And you do well to remember and appreciate that mums are the pivotal of our existence!


    • Thanks… my mom is certainly the center of my universe! (Sorry, Hubby, but it’s true.)


  19. Your post made me cry.
    I never got to say “I’m sorry” to my mother – and now it’s too late. She would have been 90 in October.
    I won’t make that mistake with my Dad.


    • Tell your dad right away how much you love him….but I am sure he already knows. And so does your mom.


  20. So sweet. You are so fortunate to still have your Mom and that you are able to appreciate her so much. I bet she printed this out and put it on her fridge.


  21. loved ur post


  22. Donna Walsh

    Nancy, you may never read this comment. I am way behind in emails. But if you do, this is your next book (for children and adults alike.) Pictures, comments, all in. Go for it Nancy. You are so gifted! Love this!!!


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