My mom is a character. She’s a lot of fun, and also very funny, though she doesn’t always mean to be. Remember when I told you guys about my tendency to get things wrong? Well that trait came from my mother. Once, my dad relayed a story he read in the paper about a rash of robberies perpetrated by men dressed like ninjas. My mom’s response was, “What do they do about their shells?”
My dad looked at her with confusion and asked what she meant.
“You know, their shells. Wouldn’t that get in the way?” This time she pointed at her back with her hands. My dad was silent for a moment before he burst out laughing and said, “Ninjas, like nunchucks, not Ninja Turtles.”
So, yeah, I come by it rightly.
For the last fifteen years or so, she’s worked with Alzheimer patients and the elderly. She’s quite gifted at it, really. I admire her for this, because it certainly isn’t easy. Unlike other societies, where the elderly are revered, we have a tendency to forget about our senior-est of citizens. Not my mom, she does all she can to make their days enjoyable.
I’ve visited my mom at work on occasion over the years, and while her patients with Alzheimer’s might not know who she is, they do know they love her. Their faces light up when my mom walks into the room, and she has a way of getting through to people that are normally unresponsive. Part of that is because she is a patient and caring woman, but there’s another ingredient too – she likes to have fun, and she wants every one else to have a good time as well. She’s always been that way.
Growing up, I had the best slumber parties. All my girlfriends loved my mom, and she went out of her way to make sure we had a blast. And we always did, so much so that my poor dad would drag a blanket and pillow into their bathroom, which was furthest away from the sound of screaming and giggling girls, and sleep in the bathtub. My mom, with enough whining from us, would also agree to cart us through the neighborhood to toilet paper houses. This, by the way, wasn’t as bad as it sounds. We only TP’d our friends’ houses, or maybe some boy one of us had a crush on. All our parents knew each other, so there were no hard feelings. Usually.
I was in the 8th grade, and a gaggle of girls were spending the night, one of which had a big puppy love crush on some guy that none of us knew. So, we convinced my mom to take us to TP his house. When we got to the street where the guy lived, the girl with the crush was suddenly unsure of which house was his. My mom became concerned, because while it was okay to let your hoodlum children toilet paper the house of someone you knew from PTA meetings, vandalizing a stranger’s house was bad parenting. Or something. Anyway, my friend finally figured out which house it was, my mom pulled around the block, and out we tumbled from the car, each with a roll of TP in hand. Approximately one minute after we began tossing rolls into the trees, a very, very angry man ran outside shouting obscenities. So we split. I hid in a bush two houses down with a friend, and we could hear the angry guy yelling and the sounds of feet hitting the pavement as he tried to chase my friends down. Eventually he came back to his house, where he stood for a minute or two muttering, before he went back inside. As soon as the door shut we took off down the block to find my mom.
Who, as it turned out, was no longer there.
I will never forget my friend’s shocked reaction. She repeatedly said, “I can’t believe your mom left us” while we walked home. I couldn’t believe it either. About five minutes later my mom pulled up next to us with eyes as big as saucers, looking frantic and blabbering a million miles a minute. Apparently, in their hurry to get away from the pissed off homeowner, my friends piled into my mom’s car like sardines and shouted at her to leave. There were so many girls, all of which were yelling over one another to tell her what happened, that my mom never noticed two of us were missing. It wasn’t until they returned to our house that everyone realized I wasn’t in the car.
Needless to say, that incident scared my mom off of being our toilet paper transportation. It was too bad, she was a great getaway driver.
Happy Friday, y’all. And all you mamma’s out there have a wonderful Mother’s Day.