I talked to my dad this week and he asked me why I didn’t ever write anything positive in my blog. I told him, “It’s all positive to me dad because once I write it, I get rid of it, and that’s a good thing.” He understood, but it did get me thinking a little, and it’s true, we all need to find the humor in our drama.
I’ve felt light all week mainly because I’ve been at home with sick kids entertaining myself through social media. I’ve made myself laugh so much over the past few days, and I’ve found myself so amusing, making jokes at my own expense. I’ve giggled to myself knowing that other people MUST think I’m completely insane. I’ve thought about posting crass comments on FB, but have not out of respect for Susan. Understandably, she doesn’t think every 50,001 thoughts I have throughout the day are appropriate for everyone to hear. She’s probably right, but I’d love one day of it.
It’s weeks like these that fill my bag with gratitude for being somewhat like my mother. Everything comes straight out without a safety net. I too possess this quality and although I like to think I am a tad more restrained, I certainly at times need to sensor myself, but only a little. This to me is how I’m funny, and how my mother is freaking hysterical if you can get past the sadness.
The week of Valentines Day my mother called my voicemail three times asking me to call her back. Each time I saw her number show up on my caller ID I’d sigh and shake my head in avoidance. I didn’t listen to the messages until she called the forth time at 6:00AM, and yes, I was up but I still pressed the, “straight to voicemail button.” I decided to listen to the message just in case something was wrong with my grandmother or another family member. I was annoyed by her presumption that I’d be up and willing to talk to her at that hour of morning (before I’d had my coffee,) knowing that I had to get the kids up and out the door for school.
I got my coffee, dark magic with extra cream, two scoops of sugar, and headed back to my covers until the caffeine made my sunrise. I played words with friends, checked the weather, glanced at Facebook and email. By then, feeling more alert, I played her voicemail. In her harsh, you’re grounded voice, she said, “Shannon Dina, I’ve been calling you for two weeks! Why won’t you return my calls? I was a single mother with three kids and I did a lot for you! I carted you to gymnastics and cheerleading. You need to call me back, I want to talk to my grandkids; I’m their grandmother. I want to come stay with you for a few days, or I want you to bring them here for a visit. I drove to Catherine’s (her third ex-mother-in-law.) all the time with you kids in the car; I drove down to Fernandina Fla. by myself. Now call your mother back.” Of course this did nothing for me other than cause extreme irritation, mixed with complete disbelief. I thought to myself, “She has got to be kidding me, she still doesn’t get it after all these years, and she never will.” I itched with frustration, as I put the phone down and went back to the silence of my computer screen. My blood pressure was off the track.
As punishment, I waited a few days before I finally called her back. I was in the car with the kids on the way to pick up one of their friends for a playdate. I knew it was an opportune time since I had an out in ten minutes. I begrudgingly dialed her number and immediately passed the phone to my daughter. The kids only like to use the speakerphone as a means to keep their pointy chins from accidentally disconnecting the calls. I heard it ringing, as a rumble of dread knocked around from inside. She answered as if awakened from a drugged sleep, “Heeeellloo?” S said in her sweet, upbeat voice, “Hi G-ma, it’s me, S.” She said, “Heeey S, what are you doing? I miss you.” S said, “I’m in the car.” G-ma replied. “Oh, where ya goin?” S said, “We’re going to get a friend for a playdate.” (My plan was working; we had an alibi.) G-ma responded with a confused tone, “A what, a playdate?” (Which, I must admit is a bit ridiculous. When I was a kid it was just, “play”, or “go outside,” or “over to a friends house,” now it’s (said in my most smarmy tone,) “playdate!” Why is it children playing with each other has turned into an event worthy of adding a new word to our vernacular? It sounds queer and pretentious; as of today I’m officially banning that word from my vocabulary, so there.)
Then she say’s to S, changing the subject, “Did you know that your Aunt Olive is a surgical technician in a hospital?” Do you want to do that when you grow up, huh? Huh, baby, do you? Do you want to work in a hospital? My sass mini-me retorted uncomfortably, “I don’t know yet, I’m still little. I’m going to wait until I grow up until I decide what to do.” My mother chuckled in acquiesce, “Ya, you have a long time before you decide what to do when you grow up.” S said, “Well, maybe I want to be a judge.” This really tickled my mothers criminal spot, “Yes, a judge, now that’s what we need in this family, a judge.” And then off she went, “We need to have some of these laws against petty crimes changed, there’s no reason why small crimes should get you “locked up!” I started breathing through my nostrils, gripping my core with worry about what she might say. (Now I know how Susan feels whenever I open my mouth and bite down on some taboo.) S just listened and chimed in with, “Ya, you only get gross canned foods in jail, my mommy doesn’t make can food, they’re disgusting.” (Like can food is entity.) (Now I was laughing silently trying to hold my ravaged by childbirth bladder.) My mother, the expert said, “Well, you don’t get good food, that’s for sure, you get…” I knew it I needed to end the call fast. “S, hand mommy the phone, we’re near Lilly’s house.” I got on the phone, “Mom, we need to hang up now.” She was laughing, “Shannon, listen to what S said, she said she wants to be a judge.” I snorted, “I know, I heard the whole thing (eye-roll) but we gotta go now, we’re pulling up to their friends house.” She called out, “Wait, Shannon, will you come see momma and bring the kids?” I inhaled and then exhaled, saying, “I don’t know, we’ll see.” And that’s the truth, until I come up with the answer.
When I hung up the phone, the kids asked, in unison, “Mommy, why does G-ma smoke sickarettes?” I replied, “Because she’s sick, and doesn’t know any better.” The kids got quiet, and I over heard Sage talking to her doll, repeating everything I had said to my mother. She better not have been practicing.