Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)
TITLE: Mothers (dreadful) Day
By Patricia Herchenroether
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Dan, my husband, says that when we all walk to church each Sunday, scrubbed, dressed, combed and polished, that he can only liken me to a proud peahen showing off her bustling brood for the first time to the rest of the barnyard. I can’t argue with him; I do feel like that.
There is, however, one day of the year, a particular Sunday, that I have absolutely dreaded. Mothers Day! Oh, I love the idea of being honored for working at a job that I feel is the most satisfying (albeit underrated) career on this blue planet. And I will never tire of my wonderful husband’s gifts of flowers and ‘chocolate,’ that miracle hormone supplement. Also, I even take special pleasure being served breakfast-in-bed by my well-intended darlings. I use a little trick to dispel possible next-day gastric discomfort:
On Mothers Day Eve, I discreetly place a plastic double-bag “stomach” under my bed, thereby sparing any hurt feelings the next morning by returning a full tray. All mothers of young, aspiring chefs will completely condone this small deception. Any of you who are affronted by this and refuse to sin, either be prepared to deal with a flood of tears or an entire bottle of Alka-Seltzer. It’s your choice.
But Mothers Day has always brought me disaster-always. As the ominous day grows near and looms larger, my memories of the last one expand in proportion and focus in like a zoom lens. Has it really been a whole year? It seems like only yesterday that….
SLAM! Kitchen door, I realized as I woke up with a start.
“Daddy, Mel let Bingo in and he’s eating bacon from the counter.” Knowing what day it was, I remained dutifully, but reluctantly, in bed as expected.
“Mel, take that dog outside and chain him!” SLAM! I cringed.
Mike giggled, “Dad, Carey dropped a jelly donut on the floor!”
Dan, always the practical one, said, “Well, just wash it off and put it on the tray.” That soggy donut was the first item to be swallowed by the plastic stomach.
SLAM! “Look-I picked a bouquet of flowers for Mommy,” I heard Ruthie proudly announce.
“Ruth Ann,” smirked Tim, “those are Mom’s prize tulips and you’re not supposed to pull them out by the roots, Stupid!” SLAM! No doubt Ruthie ran out through the door in tears. I sighed.
Dan again: “Hmm, this recipe didn’t exactly work. Brad, run this mess out to the garbage can, will ya?” SLAM! Oh, it was getting tougher to stay put.
SLAM! “Dad, Mrs. Bruster said that Kim shouldn’t be allowed to run outside naked like that.” I remember now that the whole neighborhood knew about the “immoral pack of Thompson ragamuffins” by the next day.
“Bring her in when you find her clothes-probably left them by the swing set.” SLAM! Ouch! I wondered if we should just remove the darn door.
“Carey, will you please close that cupboard door for Daddy and climb down? We don’t need any more vinegar, honey.” SLAM! CRASH! Vinegar?
“Mike, bring the paint scraper from the garage. This stuff won‘t come off.” SLAM! I crushed the pillow over my face.
SLAM! Mel’s adolescent, cracking voice reached my ears, “Help, everyone! Mom’s present got loose and it’s going up the driveway!”
SLAM! CRASH! SLAM! I remember praying fervently, “Dear Lord, please, please don’t let it be a reptile.”
And now, back in the present with the “Dreaded Mothers Day” just around the corner. Slowly, I feel a smile cracking my face, which turns into a giggle, and finally, I can’t keep it from erupting into a full-throated laugh. I love this dear, zany bunch who show their love for me in so many different ways. I must be finally learning gratitude, Lord. Thank you, Father, for opening my eyes by jarring my memory. Now, I can actually look forward to this coming Mothers Day, no matter what the Trojan horse spits out. Who knows? Maybe these guys will give me another guinea pig to keep little “Cuddles” company!
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