I.O.U by Jimmy Dean

You know most people look through their wallets or their pocket books and, way down at the bottom, past the credit cards and baby pictures, green stamps, you usually find a little ‘ol dog-eared piece of poetry. I was cleaning out my wallet the other day and ran across a whole bunch of I.O.U’s, some of ‘em thirty years overdue. The funny thing is that all these I.O.U’s are owed to one person and I kinda feel like right now might be a pretty good time for an accountin’.

Mom, you listenin’?

Mom, I.O.U. for so many things a lot of services, like nightwatchman for instance.
For lyin’ awake nights, listenin’ for coughs and cries and creakin’ floorboards, and me comin’ in too late. You had the eye of an eagle and the roar of a lion, But you always had a heart as big as a house.

I.O.U. for services as uh, short order cook, chef, baker
For makin’ sirloin out o’ hamburger an’ turkey out o’ tuna fish,
And two big ol’ strappin’ boys out of leftovers.

I.O.U. for cleanin’ services,
The daily scrubbing of face and ears all work done by hand.
And for the frequent dustin’ of a small boy’s pants to try to make sure that you led a spotless life. And for washin’ and ironin’ that no laundry could ever do. For dryin’ the tears of childhood and for ironin’ out the problems of growin’ up.

I.O.U. for services as a bodyguard,
For protectin’ me from the terrors of thunderstorms and nightmares
Hah, And too many green apples.

And Lord knows, I.O.U. for medical attention,
For nursing me through measles, mumps, bruises, bumps, splinters and spring fever.
Let’s not forget medical advice either, oh no, important things like, ‘Don’t scratch it or it won’t get well’ or ‘If you cross your eyes, they’re gonna stick like that’. And probably the most important of all was:
’Be sure you got on clean underwear boy, in case you’re in an accident’.

And I.O.U. for veterinarian services,
For feeding every lost dog that I dragged home at the end of the rope,
And for healing the pains of puppy love.

And I.O.U. for entertainment
Entertainment that kept the household goin’ during some pretty tough times
And for wonderful productions at Christmas, the Fourth of July and Birthdays
And for making make-believe come true on a very limited budget.

I.O.U. for construction work
for building kites and confidence, hopes and dreams an’ somehow you made them all touch the sky.
And for cementin’ a family together so it would stand the worst kind of shocks and blows
And for layin’ down a good strong foundation to build a life on.

I.O.U. for carrier charges
For carryin’ me on your books for the necessities of life that a growin’ boys just gotta have. Things like, a pair of high top boots, With a little pocket on the side for a jack-knife.

And one thing, Mom, I’ll will never ever forget
When there were two pieces of apple pie left and three hungry people, I noticed that you were the one who suddenly decided, you really didn’t like apple pie in the first place.

These are just a few of the things for which payment is long overdue..
The person that I owe ‘em to worked very cheap
She managed by simply doin’ without a whole lot o’ things that she needed herself

My I.O.U’s add up to much more than I could ever hope to repay,
But you know the nicest thing about it all is that I know, that she’ll mark the entire bill ‘Paid In Full’
For just one kiss and four little words….

Mom, I Love You!