“Bloody Mary” comes back to haunt me



This week I was at the receiving end of some parental karma payback.

You know what I’m talking about…

That moment when you see the stars aligning and the universe begins laughing because you, as a mom, are at the receiving end of some overdue karma from childhood choices…

Like when your toddler throws herself on the floor in a fit of rage over the injustice of your decision and you suddenly see yourself at age 13…

and you faintly hear the curse that left your mother’s lips,

“I just can’t wait until you have a daughter who is just like you.”

And now, 20 years later, you realize the prophecy has been fulfilled.

Well this week I had one of those moments. Only it wasn’t involving a daughter or a tantrum or even a curse spoken by my mother…

but it was karma…long overdue parental karma that somehow escaped me until child # 5.

I’m talking about the curse of “Bloody Mary.”

I learned the childhood ghost story of “Bloody Mary” at a girls’ sleepover when I was 9 or 10 years old. As a child that was fairly sheltered from scarier things I found the midnight telling of “Bloody Mary” deliciously frightening. It made my heart race and hairs on the back of my neck raise, and I couldn’t wait to share the feeling.

I chose to share with my little sister. I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided that I must share this horror story with my six year old sister…I obviously wasn’t thinking.

I told her and was thrilled to find that she too was significantly frightened by the story of the woman in the mirror, but I didn’t realize how scared until night fell and my mother couldn’t get her to sleep in her room.

I’m sure my mother wanted to kill me as she dealt with the aftermath of my poor choice.

I remember the mirrors on the walls of the house being taken down and turned around, all for the sake of getting Kelly to sleep. They stayed off the walls for months.  I really didn’t understand why my mother was upset. I couldn’t empathize. I didn’t “get it” until I too became a mother and now I look back and I understand.

She was tired.

She just wanted to go to bed.

The guilty party who so delighted in spreading the fear was fast asleep in bed and she was the one awake with a crying daughter.

The poor woman just wanted to go to sleep and instead found herself the victim of the “Bloody Mary” curse.

I get it…

No, I mean I REALLY get it.

This week while talking on the phone with his older biological brother Tyler too was introduced to the ghost story of “Bloody Mary,” and the result was the same.

30 years later and parental karma has come back to kick me in the tail.


As I sit up in a dark living room for half the night with a child who refuses to close his eyes I can’t help but laugh at  justice so eloquently delivered.

With a frightened child glued to my lap, I raise my glass of lukewarm chamomile tea to you, Mom. (I’m so sorry!)

And to all the other moms who might find themselves awake in the middle of the night paying for the karma of their past

Here’s to us,

and to the “Bloody Mary” sleepless nights of parenting.

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