Real Life Mama: Chalk it up for laughter


By Sarah Shrader - Guest columnist



It’s a blessing for a mama to know the inappropriate chalk is not her child’s handiwork.

It’s a blessing for a mama to know the inappropriate chalk is not her child’s handiwork.


Courtesy of Sarah Shrader

When I was a kid, I thought all moms were supposed to be mature, grown and follow all the rules. Surely, they did not snicker about inside jokes or hold back a laugh while trying to correct the wrongdoing of a child. They were supposed to be serious about things and handle them like an adult.

And I don’t know what happened, but somehow I grew into this not-so-new mom anymore and, let’s just say, there was an incident this week in my neighborhood that proved I — nor most of my mama friends — turned into that mature, serious adult.

One of our lovely neighbors has always set out sidewalk chalk in a closed container for all the kids in the neighborhood to draw with. Such a sweet gesture from such a sweet couple. Many times, the kids go down there and chalk up some beautiful pictures, and then the rain comes and wipes the canvas clean for them to create something new.

Except one night this week, it was brought to our attention by a post in our neighborhood group on social media that one piece of art was removed as it was inappropriate for driveway art. I am going to let you guess what it was.

Once it was apparent that my girls did not do it (thank goodness) as they were not home all night – which means they didn’t see it either – I couldn’t help but chuckle. I mean, kids (especially as these kids get a little older) will be kids – and if I was an older kid, that would have been hilarious. And it was then that I thought to myself, geez, Sarah, you are way too immature to be a mom.

That is, until the text messages started flying at me. The mystery of the unsuitable art proved to be quite the entertainment that night.

Who did it? I bet it was so-and-so. How do we know it was really that? Was it really drawn that well? Did she take a picture? We need to see a picture. Where is the picture? How do you post a post like that without a picture?

One mom even chimed in and said that a while back when a visiting kid was in the neighborhood, one was drawn on her driveway and that her innocent daughter insisted it was an elephant (there’s your only hint).

After literally laughing out loud, I quickly replied, “Thank God, because as one of the oldest in the neighborhood, we need her to still think it is an elephant! Once one knows, it will all go downhill.”

For a while, the messages flew back and forth, and I honestly could not stop cracking up. Oblivious to what was actually drawn or had happened completely, my girls started questioning what I was giggling about. The only response I could come up with was an elephant.

Eventually, some clues were thrown into the mix and, although not proven, we came up with the most likely suspect. As a responsible adult, I kindly messaged the keeper of the proposed culprit, as it did need addressed but let her know of the laughs us mamas got from it.

And that’s the thing about kids. Certainly, there is a time to be completely serious, especially to them. But man, I certainly hope that you have those people that you can text on the side and completely transform back to your teens and laugh until your face hurts.

Because life is so serious so much of the time. Adulting is hard and stressful, and raising kids can be monotonous and so underappreciated. Easily, you can fall into this humdrum human who fails to see the humor in some hilarious handiwork of a preteen who presumably had seen someone else do the same and witnessed the laughs that came from it.

Look, I am not saying it is right – and most likely, it would be a totally different story if it was my child. I probably would have been mortified. But that night, even if just for a few minutes of childish messaging and giggling with the mamas of the hood, I was exactly NOT the mama that I always pictured mamas to be.

And I am ok with that. In fact, I hope every mama has at least another mama or two that she can escape the pressures and seriousness of being and thinking the way a mom is “supposed to.” Sometimes, serious needs a break. Even for moms.

I don’t know, maybe I have my moments where I am too immature to be a mom. Maybe, I never actually grew all the way up. Regardless, I am thankful that I have at least a handful of other mamas who didn’t as well.

https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/10/web1_Shrader-Sarah-CMYK-1.jpg
It’s a blessing for a mama to know the inappropriate chalk is not her child’s handiwork.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/10/web1_IMG_5422.jpgIt’s a blessing for a mama to know the inappropriate chalk is not her child’s handiwork. Courtesy of Sarah Shrader

By Sarah Shrader

Guest columnist

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her daughters and writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her daughters and writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.

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