The idea for the script came from an old Jimmy Dean piece I heard when I was young. He talks about going through his wallet and finding a bunch of IOU’s to his mother. I adapted that idea to a young lady packing up her dresser as she heads to college. I hope you enjoy it.
As always, feel free to use this script in any way you think will be meaningful to the body of Christ, but I would appreciate a credit.
(The lights come up on a young lady, Stephanie, who is in her late teens. She is sitting on a box and has some other boxes scattered around her. If possible, there is a dresser with several drawers open, but that’s not necessary. Stephanie is holding some scraps of paper, a large pad of paper, and a pen or pencil. She is looking off into the distance. Her mom enters. Mom is rushed, distracted, and a bit annoyed at Stephanie.)
Mom: Stephanie, what are you doing? You haven’t even cleaned out your dresser yet! We’re never going to get you off to college if you don’t get these things boxed up!
Stephanie: (She looks at her mother with a sentimental smile.) Sorry, mom. I got…distracted. (Hands her the small scraps of paper.) Do you remember these?
Mom: (Still rushed and a bit annoyed, but the scraps do bring back a fond memory.) Wow. These are from quite a while ago, aren’t they? (She reads one.) “I owe you 75 cents for a Coke.” (She reads another.) “I owe you one dollar for an ice cream cone.” (She reads one more.) “I owe you two dollars for a set of barretes.” These are the IOUs you wrote me back when we gave you an allowance.
Stephanie: Yes. I would spend all my allowance money and then want something else. You wouldn’t give me any more money until I wrote out an IOU. I guess I didn’t pay many of them back, did I?
Mom: Actually, you paid back more than I ever expected.
Stephanie: I remember being so proud each time I paid one back. I would hand you the IOU and the money, and you would then say, “This IOU is paid in full.”
Mom: I was proud of you, too. I was trying to teach you to be responsible with your money, and every time you paid me back, I thought the lesson had sunk in…at least a little. (Pause) So this is what has been distracting you?
Stephanie: Not really. When I found all those IOUs at the bottom of my dresser drawer, I felt like I had to write one more. (She hands her mom the large pad of paper.) Here. Read this.
Mom: (She starts to read in a businesslike way.) Dear Mom, I owe you for the following services:
Janitorial – You washed all my clothes, picked up after me, and dealt with my messes for 18 years, without a single “Thank you” from me.
(She gives Stephanie a look that says, “It’s about time you admitted that.”)
(As she reads the next line, she goes from being businesslike to being touched. The more she reads, the more emotional she becomes.)
Recreational – You made this house a fun, happy, and safe place for me and all my friends – even the ones you didn’t like very much.
Psychological – You gave me great advice that I couldn’t get anywhere else. Even though I didn’t always listen, I now know how valuable it was.
Medical – You kissed away every “boo-boo” I had, held my hand through nights that I thought I was too sick to sleep, and made me feel better than the best doctor in the world.
(She moves over to Stephanie and puts her arm around Stephanie’s shoulder. Stephanie holds the hand that is on her shoulder.)
Emotional – You rejoiced with me in the happy times, cried with me in the sad times, and carried me through those times I couldn’t have made it on my own.
Spiritual – You showed me the kind of unconditional love that Jesus has for me. Without your example, I don’t think I would have ever come to realize how much He loves me.
In short, mom, I owe you everything.
(By this time, mom is about to lose it. In order to get herself under control, she walks a few steps away and then turns around to face Stephanie again. She gets herself under control and with a genuine smile she says:)
Well, I guess it’s time to collect on this one.
Stephanie: (Stands up) What? I can’t possibly pay you back for all of that.
Mom: Of course you can. (She opens her arms.)
Stephanie: (Gives mom a hug. She says her line while the embrace is still going on.) I love you mom.
Mom: (She gives her line while the embrace is still going on.) This IOU is paid in full.
(The lights fade out.)