Happy Birthday Momma. She would have been 97 today. wow. I will always miss my momma.
A MOMMY TALE…
I was 14, awkward and a floppy teenager. You know the kind; sure we’re right, and giddy most of the time, flopping on the couch bemoaning the affairs of school and friends, always saying. “Oh Mom.” extending the drawn of the ‘o’ in the whine.
My mother was patient. Doing her best to keep hearth and home stable for my brother and I. She worked as a secretary at the University to keep food on the table. She was a cute, sassy lady. She was always a lady cause that’s what her generation of women tended to be that came from educated backgrounds.
It was a Saturday night, I was babysitting for the neighbor boy in the apartment next to ours. Mom had a date. She had never had a date that I knew of so this was a big deal to me, and I image in forethought it was for her too. It was all about me wasn’t it?
He was a professor at the university and she was quietly excited about it; consulting me on what she’d wear. I failed to see him come and pick her up because of my babysitting, which cause me all kinds of duress through out the evening. I wanted to see this old guy that was taking my mother to the movies and dinner. I wanted to lay my eyes on him and make my own teenage assessment.
My ears were attuned to every little sound emanating from our apartment building; waiting to hear the door downstairs open and my mother would return with some story to tell me. It was just gone 9pm, when I heard voices and knew she was home. I cracked the door to hear what was being said only to hear giggles and mumbles which made my heart a little racy.
I did hear his good bye and the door close. I then stood at the top of the stairs waiting for my mother to come up. First came her shoe; a little beige pump that landed on the first landing coming up, followed by a giggle. I felt shocked and said, “MOM!”. That was when the second shoe came flying up, landing on the top stair in front of my feet.
“Mom!”, I say, “What are You doing?” She gives no reply.
By this time she’s at the top of the first landing making her slow steps up to me. Her eyes are all glittery and mischievous. Her closed mouth looks odd and ready to pop open as she gets to the two steps just below me. I’m shaking my head and hoping she’ll tell me what in the world is going on, when she gives me this grin that looks like her teeth are bright orange. And with this exhale of laughter a slice of orange flies out of her mouth and hits me in the chest falling to my feet.
I am stunned. She is laughing hysterically at me, and I’m standing there mouth open and eyes like saucers wondering what the hell just happened. Who is this woman in front me? What happened to my mother?
I think for a moment I was frightened. As fun and playful as my mother was, she didn’t act like this. She had left the house kind of nervously excited and seemingly calm and returns insane. I was speechless momentarily till she gave me a big hug, and I started to breathe again.
Mom had had a really good time.