There are some unwritten rules in the blogging/writing world. One that I continually break is not to read the comments left on sites other than my own. I can’t seem to help it. I want to know what people think.
When I Am Not That Mom was first published here, I was amazed at the response. Then Scary Mommy wanted it. Then Huffington Post. Then All4Women. I was blown away by the comments, and I read as many as I could find. Mostly they said “Thank you” or “Me too” or “Now I don’t feel so alone.” How could I just let those beautiful words languish in internet purgatory, never noticed, never acknowledged? The people that left these comments praised me, for being brave, for being vulnerable, and most often, for letting them know that they were NOT alone. But what they didn’t know was that those comments helped me, probably much more than my post helped them.
When Huffington Post shared that piece again last week, I received two emails. One in Italian (which I initially thought was French because I am Very Smart) and one in German. I had to use Google Translate to understand what was happening. I guess U.S. Huffington Post submitted the article to their Italian and German counterparts.
HOW COULD I RESIST?!
I couldn’t. When I clicked on the link, Google asked me if I wanted it translated to English. Sure. Cause I can’t fucking read Italian. Or German. Or French, for that matter.
This is where things started getting HYSTERICAL. Now, I’m no linguist, as surely you’ve realized by now, and I have no idea how accurate Google Translate is, but holy shit, my word babies were torn to pieces and put back together until I didn’t even recognize myself.
I was laughing so hard last night, I almost couldn’t breathe. I ran around the house shoving my phone in any face that would hold still and yelling, “THEY SAID I KISSED AN OX!” “OMG!” and “CHRIST ON A CRUTCH, THE WHOLE WORLD THINKS I’M A FUCKING MORON!”
Seriously, I sound like a lazy, and possibly insane, asshole.
I wonder if an Italian-speaking person read it, would it make more sense and come across the way it was meant?
Anyway. For your reading pleasure, I present to you excerpts from I Am Not That Mom, in English, Italian, and German. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
ME: I Am Not That Mom
ITALY: I Am Not One of Those Mothers
GERMANY: I’m Not a Mother
Wow, Germany, that’s a little harsh.
ME: I am well aware of my failure in this aspect of parenting.
ITALY: I am well aware that you have failed as a parent from this point of view.
Yeah, you fucked up big time. Wait, what?
ME: I’m just not that mom.
GERMANY: But as a mom, I am not easy.
I can’t really argue with this.
ME: When I first saw you, I knew that you would hold my heart forever.
ITALY: The first time I saw you, my son, I realized that I’d captured her heart forever.
I’m so confused.
ME: I can still feel you, so tiny, snuggled on my chest. When I see you asleep now, I still picture you curled up in footie pajamas, all wispy hair and dark lashes against perfect skin.
ITALY: I can still hear each of you, curled up on my chest. Even today, when I look at you sleep, I imagine squatting in your swimsuit, with thinning hair, dark lashes and face immaculate.
What the…someone, please, explain this before I laugh so hard I pee my pants. Again.
ME: I was the mom who kissed boo boos.
ITALY: I was one of those moms who kissed your ox.
Oh, Italy, you’re killing me here.
ME: (safety scissors, my ass.)
ITALY: (scissors with safety, a horn.)
Scissors. Useful in any language. Asses and horns, not so much.
ME: But most times I feel like I am also the mom who is failing.
GERMANY: But mostly I feel that I am the mom who refused.
This is hurtful, Germany. Very hurtful.
ME: I was that mom who rocked you all night, patting and bouncing and shh, shh, shhing when you cried.
GERMANY: I was the mom that you all night has gently rocked, patted your Po, up on the exercise ball…
I think you and I might bounce babies differently, Translator Person.
ME: …although there have been a few notes from the Tooth Fairy instead of cash.
ITALY: …although the Tooth Fairy, instead of giving me some money, I did deliver the message of warning.
THIS TOOTH IS NO GOOD. NEXT TIME LEAVE ONE WITH FILLINGS, OR ELSE.
The Tooth Fairy
ME: I’m also the mom who too often hurts too much to cook dinner. I’m the mom who lets you eat an unhealthy amount of macaroni and pizza rolls.
ITALY: They are also the mother who often do not want to make dinner. I am the mother who lets you eat a huge amount and unhealthy pasta and pizza.
Translation: This woman is lazy and wants you to be fat and hungry.
So yesterday was a good, good day, because I got to read all these wonderful comments from wonderful moms, dads, grandmas, future moms, people with no intention of having children, just so many amazingly considerate people, and then I got to laugh my ass off at this. I needed a good day.