I just got back from the most yummy meal. My sister and I decided that we'd take our mom and her mother in law out to my favorite restaurant for Mother's Day. Two months later, here we are. I had calamari (it is the best, with hot peppers!), lobster bisque and Hawaiian swordfish. I skipped dessert because I was already unable to breathe. Over dinner, the moms (the older moms, that is) told stories of their children.
My mom likes to tell about when my sister was trendy, back in middle school and high school. She got all the latest trends, and you should know that this was in the early 80's, so you know the trends were pretty awful. She had one dress, a black and silver number, that she wore to middle school often. It had the words, "And God created woman" scrawled diagonally across the front in French. She dated one particular fellow in high school who was shy and quiet, a kinda normal type guy. Mom loves to tell of Mikey waiting in our living room for Julie and sinking in his seat as he saw her descend the stairs in seersucker baggy red, white and blue plaid pants. Mom said he looked like he'd cry as he said, "Yyyyour not gonna wear that, are ya?" You bet your bippy she was.
Another favorite story of moms was from way back when I was 3. We lived a block off main street when I was under four and evidently things were different then because mom's stories include a lot of things like, "I woke up and didn't know where you were and found you a block away riding your bike in your pajamas" ... or "oh yeah, that was the time you and Stephie went into that store and took lunch boxes and when you got home we brought them back to the store," or "all the neighborhood kids were looking up and there you were - at the top of the tallest pine tree." Maybe it was just me, but it seems like it was normal to have 3 year olds roaming the neighborhood and downtown area with their pals back then because if you knew my mom, you'd know she isn't anything if she isn't painfully careful and conscientious. And believe me, it only gets worse the more grandchildren she gets. I mean, here I was shoplifting alone at 3 and my kids can't ride a skateboard ten feet without her alarm bells going off. Tonight she told of the day I (at 3) was at my friend's down the street and we took a walk around the block with his wagon. A pharmacy had recently burned and we collected items from the trash and brought them home to show our parents the amazing collection of "balloons" with which we had filled our wagon.
I suppose someday I'll tell those stories about my kids like it's nothing. Like the time Seth, at 3 or 4, decided he wanted to see if he could crawl, sneak, skulk around our entire yard (and it was big) naked without anyone seeing him. Evidently I was inside drinking heavily, because I didn't see him. But my next door neighbor leaned out her kitchen window and gave him the what-for. Or the two times my next door neighbor knocked on my door with Luke in her arms, wondering if I wanted him back. Wha? I didn't even know he was gone. Evidently I was inside dri- never mind. Or the time this spring that Sean got stuck in the dark outer workroom in our basement between two doors that he couldn't open while I was gone for 1 hour and Seth was "babysitting" (read: mowing the lawn with his IPod and earphones) and our neighbor heard his screaming for so long she finally stopped Seth and alerted him. Sheesh, good thing for neighbors, huh?
I made the mistake of telling that last story about Sean in the dark room to Mom at the end of dinner tonight and, I kid you not, she made us all get up and leave right then because Seth was home babysitting all four grandchildren this evening. My sister as we walked to get the car: I cannot believe you told mom that at dinner! It was a poor decision on my part. But when we returned, the kids were not starving or locked up or at the top of pine trees or shoplifting or making weapons or distilling moonshine or anything. Because now, thanks to PlayStation, we have video games and our children are safe and sound!