Sunday, May 10, 2009

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

.
Complete with Virtual Flower and all.


Walter took these pix. Since kmom is sort of a mother to Walter too, it was only appropriate.


They actually talk on the phone far more than she and I do. This troubles me not one tiny bit. Oh, I revel in it! Seeing or listening to them together, enjoying each other's company the way they do, is a great treat. How could a person feel bad about something so inherently good?


I love peeking inside the flowers...


Raspberry crepes in bed.

That's what Mom says she expected this morning. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. She is, after all, the mother of Dad's children.

He, however, made the distinction that she is not HIS mother.

And THEN! THEN!

Mom called the house of k bro. Who had the unmitigated gall to tell kmom - his OWN!!! MOTHER!!! - that HIS wife got no breakfast in bed either! And for the EXACT SAME REASON!

8-O !!!

People. This is an outrage! EsPECially in this day and age.

Gentlemen, listen. Fathers today have public men's restrooms with Baby Changing Stations inside. Much of Modern American culture holds it not just acceptable, but desirable, when dads actively nurture their kids. I'm talking way beyond attending Little League games or school plays.

What a wonderful change! Far healthier and happier for all. Those brave and loving men who took on highly nurturing roles by choice were often ostracised as unmanly, or ruining life for men who far preferred limited roles as breadwinners and weekend golfers. Watching this unfold, growing up, I puzzled over the allure of that limited standard; then rejoiced, watching the tremendously positive changes unfold over time.

That old standard did men wrong. Fathers, mothers, children alike were deprived of the sort of bonding that steadies and strengthens us all.

Of course, it made baby-raising no piece of cake for the mothers, either. Let's say supportiveness is considered weakness, damaging the fabric of family and the healthy growing independence of children. Would you want to do that to your loved ones? Not!

To my own satisfaction, those assumptions about supportiveness and such are sufficiently disproven by now. Thinking back, remembering how very hard my mother worked for us all and how very little we appreciated it, I'm filled with shame. When I called her today, she told me she'd been cleaning out the basement and found a certain item: a yellow pottery bowl, made by yours truly ever so long ago, inscribed underneath with: To a Loved Mother [k].

She cleaned it up and took it upstairs to her home office and filled it with paper clips.

ah, forgiven, forgiven!

I love this modern saying: *This is why lions eat their young...* It's nicely adaptable to all sorts of transgressions by children and adolescents. And gentlemen, if you did desire to have those kids - and to see them reach adulthood uneaten - why then, I do believe you owe a debt of gratitude to the mother of those children. After all, she worked very hard to raise them. And she didn't eat them either.

Of course she's not your own mother! She's the mother of your own kids. Surely your progeny is at least as valuable to you as...as you are?

Casting my mind back, I tell you one and all: Really and truly, things were very different Back in the Day, when k was just a little kitten her ownself. Very different indeed...

Crib memories. Going back to age one and a half, maybe earlier. In Arcadia, California, we lived in our very first house, *the old house on Doolittle.* Which was Too Little. Onward we moved, into the *new* house. I was probably about two years old then, meaning kmom would be all of 24.

Mom was one of those extraordinary exemplary *Perfect Wives and Mothers* of her day. When we were small she turned her brilliant mind to caring for us and our home while Dad worked as a doctor.

Young docs, then as now, often don't make very much money. She managed superbly, though. Creatively. Like when she performed a neat early 1960's-style money-saving decorating trick, carefully papering the kitchen walls...with book jackets.

Oh, they were beautiful! Colorful and crazy-patterned like a quilt. Planned. Each book jacket was carefully pasted into place, individually, lovingly.

Exhaustingly.

It saved a lot of money on paint and/or *regular* wallpaper, but it took days or weeks of careful hard work. We two kids were fascinated by it; we'd sit in the kitchen and watch and watch as she worked, and look and look at night when she was done.

Around this time Mom, far less apprehensive of New Foods than most, decided it was time to introduce her two little ones to a delicacy of her own childhood: *Corn on the Cob.* A plate of this bizarre item, steaming in the middle of the kitchen table, was viewed by us with great suspicion.

And I firmly explained I would never ever ever eat it. Never. Ever.

Somehow she convinced me to try it, and I loved it so much I even found the inner strength to admit the error of my ways. And have scarfed it down ever since.

So maybe I'd become a little more open-minded when she brought the pomegranates home.

kbro and I really liked them, and I don't think either of us made a fuss about trying them. Nope. Took to 'em right off the bat.

So much so that that brother of mine - who was Always Instigating Trouble - got out a pomegranate one evening when the parents were out of sight. It seemed harmless enough. Even virtuous. We were Big Kids, feeding ourselves a nice healthy snack.


I'm not sure how kmom will feel about peeking into this pomegranate...

The brother and I sat at the kitchen table enjoying our pomegranates. Indulging in the unique characteristics we'd discovered about them. Pomegranates are oddly constructed. The entire inside of the fruit consists of clumps of tight rows of seeds separated by weird looking membranes. Each little seed is individually covered with a firm pulp of fruit.

It's sweet and tangy. Extremely juicy. A delicious surprise in your mouth when you bear down on a seed and it squirts open like a teeny tiny cherry tomato.

Extremely bright, too! A brilliant cranberry red so persistent you can use it to dye cloth. Translucent, the color glows like a jewel when you hold the seed up to the light in admiration.

To a little bitty kid, those seeds aren't quite so tiny. Your toddlerish fingers are clumsier than you wish. They can't manipulate food with an adult's easy grace. But oh, do you wish they could! The urge to practice those moves is nearly overpowering. Instead of chewing a seed to bust through the skin, you might want to hold one in your little fingers and squeeze. Squirt the juice straight into your mouth, more or less. Cool!

Or...or, you could squirt it at your little sister's face instead. You were Always Instigating Trouble, after all. Heck, you're bro, it's your job!

Which state of affairs might then result in a friendly war. Complete with battle music!

Our song was this: Squirt squirt the little squirt! If I had a podcast I could sing it for you. Sing-song: squirt squirt the little SQUIRT! GOTCHA! HA HA HEE HEE HA HA HA!!!

Soon we were covered with gorgeous pomegranate juice from head to toe, singing away and giggling fit to beat the band, our hands slipping and sliding on the table top covered with juice as we grabbed around for more ammo. The noise of our merriment finally brought my mother in to see what was up.

Up. Up being an operative word.

Because when she walked in the kitchen she saw the entire room - freshly painted ceiling, walls newly papered with book jackets, new-laid floor, new-painted table, chairs - kids - everything in sight was covered with streams of sticky squirted brilliant red indelible pomegranate juice.

My mother never allowed another pomegranate to cross the threshold again. Not. Ever.

Not even when we were no longer 3 and 2 years old, but 50 and 49.

But however, this one here being My House...I can eat pomegranates whenever I want.

Cause I'm a Grown-up now.

Yup. Against all odds, I lived to tell this tale. Because THIS mother, despite great provocation, chose not to eat her young.

And if any dads out there are glad their own lionesses didn't eat their young, why, I think raspberry crepes in bed is a fine way to say Happy Mother's Day.

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6 comments:

Granny J said...

And I am so very happy to see such a lively, k-worthy post once again. Welcome back to the world, dear k.

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

K's Back!!! See me smile? See me do the happy dance?

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

PS Thanks for the flowers!

Pretty Lady said...

Woo hoo! Back with a bang!

This morning we had a larger-than-usual Poop Explosion. Not only did the poop overflow the diaper and soak the onesie, but it flooded over Joe's shorts and dripped onto the floor. He cleaned every bit of it up, and warned me about the damp spot on the rug. I said, "Thank you."

He replied, "You don't have to THANK me for cleaning up poop. This isn't a hundred years ago; it's not YOUR job."

Of course, I maintain ironclad standards of courtesy in the home no matter what, exclusive of gender roles. But what a Real Man!!!

Kat said...

I was feeling a little sad and nostalgic and checked the comments on Bane Rants, then linked you. Thank you. Your comment was very thoughtful, and, just for ya know Bane would have made me raspberry crepes.

Mrs. Bane

k said...

My gracious, Ladies! You sure know how to motivate a tuckered-out blogger! More dances! More flowers! YES!!!

I love you guys.

PL, that's exactly what I'm talking about! Of course that's the Manly Man, not the one who runs away! ai yi yi!!!

Oh, he's wonderful. You and Olivia are two lucky ladies.

Kat, I never doubted for one minute that Bane would have made you raspberry crepes in bed. Actually, he'd probably check first and make sure it was exACTly what you wanted - and then would make whatever it was you said you most desired.

Then he'd write up a detailed instructional post for the Other Guys out there, the other dads, on how important it is to remember the mother of your kids on Mother's Day. Especially since we don't have a Wives' Day. And to make sure that whatever you do for her, it's what SHE wants, as opposed to what you feel like doing for her. Said post might, or might not, include a recipe.

Does she want powdered sugar sprinkled on top? Ask. If she says, --Yes-- then do it nice. And if she says --No,-- this is not the time to put the powdered sugar on top anyway as a sort of Guy Joke.

She is Not A Guy. Remember that!

And if she'd love to have a bath drawn, complete with all sorts of perfumey Chick Stuff in it, then do it! Doesn't matter if YOU enjoy the perfumey stuff, this is for HER not YOU. [scold scold!]

By now, whether or not he continued in this vein with more delightful Instructional Details, us ladies reading would already be sitting out here sweating and swooning, dropping the broadest hints we possibly could and hoping they weren't falling on deaf ears; or sighing and pining and wishing; and plenty of the guy readers would be thinking, --OH! Okay. Well heck, that kinda makes sense, anyway even if it doesn't at least I can try it...-- and certain other ladies who don't venture into Blogland would be torn between sheer unquestioning gratitude, and wondering what got into the man - or, who??...