Saturday, July 5, 2008

Summer -- to love, or not to love? That’s the easy question

Judd pries my eyelids open with his spindly fingers at 5:30 a.m. three and a half hours after I went to bed. “Mama, wake up!” He shouts one inch from my ear. I squeeze them shut; he digs them open. Squeeze. Open. Squeeze. Deep, agonizing groan. Back to sleep. He climbs up on the bed and jumps next to me before plunging straight in the air and cannon-balling on my midsection, making it impossible for me to suck in any air (or squeak anything out for that matter). I flop out of bed and trudge to the bathroom with my eyes squeezed shut, just to spite him. I lock the door and sit on the toilet with the side of my head pressed against the wall. I catch two minutes of zzzz’s until I hear Drew pounding on the door. “I really wish it were my birthday today. I can't wait five more days. Will you lend me the money I'm going to get in my birthday cards so I can buy some NBA basketball cards today? I promise I'll pay you back. Please? I'm so so so so bored. Maaahm?” His voice whines in my head like the F chord on Clay’s electric guitar.

I manage to let out a weak grumble. Something about how this is the 15th time he's asked me this question in the last two days.
“Mom, when are you coming out?” Drew presses.

But I don’t hear the last part because I’m busy editing where I left off at 2 a.m. earlier that morning. The following bubbles pop up in my scrambled head…

If Drew's birthday were tomorrow he'd be happy and life would be exciting..
NBA basketball cards are Drew's ticket to a blissful summer..
Did I get hit by something? Because all of a sudden my stomach really hurts…my head too….
Drew's swindling me into thinking if I buy him the cards, he'll stop bugging me for the rest of the summer…

“Mom! I know you’re in there!” Drew’s shouts are like a thousand straight pins being launched at my head. I involuntarily hop up and blast through the door. Drew jumps back three feet bracing himself against the wall. My voice is quivering now, “I…just…need…a…minute…k?”

“Sure…Mom.” Drew says. I see Judd pop out from behind the door, “Mom, are you a donkey?” he says with crooked eyebrows. Most mothers would have immediately said, “no way!” But not me, I had to think about it. Because technically, I was only 14 when my dad first called me a jackass. But don't worry Dad, I haven’t told anyone. Sometimes I feel like one, but I certainly hope I don’t look like one too.

“What?” I say, feeling my ribs, still sore from the sudden 3-year old dead-weight drop earlier. Still in the bathroom, I look in the mirror. My hair is sticking up on both sides…donkey ears.

I turn on Sponge Bob, whom I’ve recently included in my will, and sprint to the shower, knowing I’ll get 30 minutes of uninterrupted lathering, except for the kids occasional side-splitting laughter at Sandy ripping Patrick’s head off. As the warm beads of water splash off my body, I reach for my razor, but it is missing. I finish up and dry off looking around the bathroom for my razor. I spot Sean’s sexy, three-rotating head piece-of-technological-work glistening on the countertop next to the sink. I wonder…

Three hours later, I’m walking around the house with my arms in the air wondering who lit my armpits on fire. Lesson learned.
Later that afternoon, the boys, Martha Stewart and I gather three empty water bottles and make them into sailboats by wrapping them with duct tape and adding makeshift sails. We take them to the park and float them down the ditch. I watch Judd and Clay run along the ditch bank racing their boats before they’re swallowed by the iron grate. I smile and nod my head, secretly awarding myself the coveted self-imposed title, “Mother of the Week”. I haven’t even crowned myself when suddenly from the furthest edge of my eye, I see a sudden surge of water shooting in a fine stream, much like a sprinkler. I follow it to the source; my eyes come to a screeching stop at my proud, 10-year old son standing on a rock, whizzing for the world to see, like some water spurting statue. I immediately strip myself of my title, and try to say something, but nothing comes out except words like, Di…, Uh…, Wha…, Sto..., Aaagh! Drew…why?

And with that I’m back to my regular title.

Leeann W.
"Mother of the Week"
Mother of three boys – in training