Monday, May 9, 2022

Champion Kid

Good God--I hope you didn't miss it!  I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that it was Mother's Day.  I'm sure you didn't.  

Many of my female friends are child free, so they required a different card.  I guess if you are child free, you don't need a day of celebration.  As they say, for a mother, happy hour is bedtime.  Happy hour for the child free is anytime they want.  

I know some mother's, too, though, and their children didn't make much of a deal.  A long distance call.  For most kids, I think, a day like this is just a pain in the ass.  Mothers and fathers will spend endless hours talking about how great their kids are.  They will tell you all about their great successes in little league or at music camp.  Even the parents of drug addicts will find something to cheer about.  

"Since little Bobby went to rehab, he's been such a different person."

Kids don't go on about their parents so very much. 

I, on the other hand, being Champion of the World at Everything, gave my mother a spectacular day.  Why?  Because that's just the way I am.  

As I say, I know mother's who didn't even get flowers for Mother's Day.  I got up in the morning and picked up my mother.  We went to a distant but incredible nursery.  We picked up plants, fertilizer, mulch, and, of course, a tulip for my mother.  Then. . . I tore up a patch of her yard and built her a butterfly garden.  I just about had heat stroke.  Clearing the ground was hard.  I had a little flat spade that I shoved under the grass and weeds and shoved it back and forth cutting them free from the ground.  I was in the afternoon sun in a black t-shirt.  I know.  Stupid.  My core was working overtime.  But lickety-split, I had cleared the patch and was digging holes, throwing in some starter fertilizer, filling them with water, pulling plants out of their plastic, splitting the root bed, settling them into their new swampy soil, pushing the old soil around the top and tamping it down. . . until ma had a garden that would bring butterflies and bees and hummingbirds.  

I collapsed with fatigue and joy.  

Yup. . . mom got flowers.  

But I had to get home and get cleaned up, go to the grocery store, and get the fixings for the dinner I was making her.  Small red beans and pork with jasmine rice--one of her favorites.  

In the late afternoon, joined by my tenant, we were eating on the deck, drinking wine, enjoying the shade and the breeze, then some Ben and Jerry's Fudge Chocolate ice cream.  

I think I am a fabulous son.  

I don't think my mother ever gushed about me to other people the way I hear parents do today.  It just wasn't the way.  They didn't give out awards for "being" back then.  

I have a friend whose father just died.  Like me, she is an only child.  Like me, she has no children and is single.  Suddenly, for the first time in her life, she is an orphan in a big sense.  So I said to her.  She admitted that it was very weird.  

But my mother has friends whose kids have nothing to do with them.  When they need help, they have to call my mother.  

I guess parenting experiences lie somewhere along a spectrum between "Parenthood" and "Requiem for a Dream."  

It is early, but my neighbors seem to all be out for their morning walks.  I am thinking of skipping the gym this week and using my time to do projects around the house.  That is the plan.  But two days of working outside with pitchforks and spades and rakes and shovels has me whupped.  Still, I think I need to break from the gym for a minute.  I need to get this place prepared so that I can take summer trips without worry.  I have invitations from friends around the country, and I need to take them up on some.  

But first--mo' work.  Don't worry.  Whatever it is, you know you'll be the first to know.  

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