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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)

By Sheri Gordon


I was never going to be that mom. You know, the one who drives her kids to school in her faded flowery cotton bathrobe and used-to-be-white terrycloth slippers with a hole in the toe…the one who ‘runs to the store for one quick item’ with curlers in her hair, hiding them under a sheer pink scarf…the one who wears stretchy-waist jeans pulled way up over her belly-button…the one who always says something nerdy like, “Was that a nice way to talk to your friend? I don’t think Jesus would be smiling down on you right now.” You know…that mom. The mom who is totally not “with it.” My mom.

Yesterday, however, I was smacked in the face with the realization that I may be, indeed, that mom. Not exactly the mom described above—I have never driven my son to school in a bathrobe, my slippers are not made out of terrycloth—although they do have a hole in the big toe—I do not wear curlers in my hair, nor do I run to the store for anything—my husband usually takes care of that—and I do not wear my jeans over my belly-button—I find that the low cut jeans are much more comfortable, letting my tummy sort of ooze out over the top of the non-elastic waistband.

I do remember pontificating once or twice about what would Jesus do and treating friends with respect, blah, blah, blah, but it didn’t sound nearly so nerdy coming from me. It sounded…wise.

Anyway, back to yesterday. I was in the kitchen, slaving over a hot stove. (And yes, boiling water for the roast-beef-and-gravy-in-a-bag, zapping the fully-cooked-rice-pilaf in the microwave, popping open the can of biscuits and strategically placing them on a cookie sheet, and grabbing a handful of salad out of the bag and depositing it into individual bowls does count as ‘slaving’ over dinner.)

My just-turned-teenager son was in the family room talking on the phone to his BFF, Justin. (See how hip I am? I know that BFF means Best Friends Forever. Except, I think that might just be a girls’ term—I’m not so sure guys have BFF’s.)

So, I overheard—I was not eavesdropping, I truly did overhear, once I turned the stove fan off—a one-sided conversation that went something like this…

“No way. That’s so bad.”

“Dude. That’s the bomb.”

“That’s totally sick.”

Wondering what horrific event had happened to Justin, I jumped into action as the microwave, stovetop, and oven buzzers all went off within seconds of each other. Taking a moment to congratulate myself on impeccable timing—that’s always my goal, to see if I can get all the pre-packaged food warm at the same time—I sliced open the bag of meat and gravy and hollered ‘grub’s on.’ (That sounds much more cool than ‘dinner’s ready.’)

My son ended his conversation and came whistling into the kitchen, followed by my husband and the dog. I dished the food straight from the stove—no sense dirtying additional serving bowls—and set the plates on the table. As we joined hands to give thanks to God, I asked my husband if I could pray this time.

“Dear Lord, We thank you for this food and ask that you bless it to nourish and strengthen our bodies. And please be with Justin in whatever he is going through. Amen.”

“What’s with Justin?” My husband reached to the counter behind him for a biscuit—straight off the pan.

I looked sheepishly at my son. “Sorry, Troy, I overheard you talking to Justin, and I know something bad happened.”

“What are you talking about, Mom?”

“You said something was bad, and something about a bomb, and that somebody is sick. Is Justin’s cousin in Iraq okay? Where was the bomb? And who’s sick?”

Troy rolled his eyes and gave me ‘the look.’ I thought only moms have ‘the look,’ but he inherited one the day he turned thirteen.

“Justin got an iPhone for his birthday, Mom. ‘Bad,’ ‘the bomb,’ and ‘sick,’ mean it’s really, really good. Like, totally awesome? Super cool? Neato? Or whatever it is you say.”

“Oh, so ‘bad’ is good?”

Troy just gave me ‘the look.’

“So does that mean good is bad?”

More of ‘the look.’

My eyes pleaded with my husband for help. He just shrugged and grabbed another biscuit. I shrugged and attacked my pre-packaged salad.

So there you have it. I am officially ‘not cool’…I am that mom.

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This article has been read 859 times
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Charla Diehl 05/14/09
All moms can relate to this--no matter what generation they grew up in. This was so authentic. I felt as if I was sitting in the kitchen with this family--amusing story.
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/14/09
I was with you every step of the way---sure I was NEVER going to be THAT mom till I heard myself saying some of the same things I'd heard my mom say--not all, mind you. I enjoyed this immensely. It's humorous and real.
Glynis Becker05/15/09
Absolutely real-life. I enjoyed it, especially because I've always tried not to be 'that' mom, too (to no avail, of course). Loved it.
Jana Kelley05/15/09
This was great! Very funny and very real. I felt like I was sitting in the kitchen and dining area watching this scene take place.
Jan Ackerson 05/15/09
I tell you what's REALLY scary--I look in the mirror sometimes and see my mom. *sigh*

This has such a great voice--I love the dry wit (my favorite kind). Wonderfully entertaining!
Joanne Sher 05/16/09
Hehe - SOOOOO fun! Really got a kick out of this one! Great read.
Emily Gibson05/17/09
You are too "with it"! You wrote this fun piece! Only cool moms would write something like this.
Myrna Noyes05/20/09
Hee-hee! What a funny, true-to-real-life piece!! :D I especially chuckled at these lines:

"I do remember pontificating once or twice about what would Jesus do and treating friends with respect, blah, blah, blah, but it didn’t sound nearly so nerdy coming from me. It sounded…wise."

Good writing here! :)

Colin Swann05/20/09
interesting women's stuff. I must be really be square or is it round now? Didn't understand your with-it jargon. Then I'm English and very un-cool.

Thanks - Colin
Mona Purvis05/20/09
This story is "the Bomb"! Like it is Bad!
I don't think we can ever really be a cool mom. Great story.
Catrina Bradley 05/20/09
I love this! (And not just because your MC cooks like I do.)
Betty Castleberry05/20/09
So "totally sick" is a good thing now? I'm soooo not cool.

Loved the voice in this. The ending made me smile. Well done.
Myrna Noyes05/21/09
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR EC for this excellent piece! :)
Anthony Brown05/21/09
Been there, though not as a Mom. Great story. Perhaps we will find easier acceptance from our grandkids.
Gregory Kane05/22/09
Very amusing entry. You carried me with you all the way. Well done!
Sharon Kane05/22/09
Whoops! That was goofy. I was logged in as my other half. And have been for the last half dozen congrats I've posted. Sorry!
Jim McWhinnie 05/22/09
Such a delightful snapshot of real-life, told in such a readable, relate-able way.

Your story got me to thinking what my "Dad" version of this story might be.

Thanks for the moment of our humanity.