Tag Archives: mother

2574. A fortuitous day

Lucy was at the end of her tether. She had three children’s mouths to feed; three children to clothe, three children to get to school. She had lost her job during the pandemic and never got it back.

Knitting wasn’t really Lucy’s thing but she pulled a pullover apart that was now too small for any of the children, wound the wool, and began to knit. In the end she had knitted three scarves and three sets of mittens. That should help the tiniest bit in winter. There was a little bit of wool left over. Little Eden had always wanted a doll. Lucy knitted a little doll’s costume around a small plastic bottle. Eden called her doll “Olivia”.

But now winter was setting in and not a dime was left in the kitty. Eden said, “If you want to, you can sell Olivia online.”

Would you believe! It went for twenty-four dollars within 10 minutes, along with the promise that Olivia’s little sister, Avery, would always answer Olivia’s letters if she wrote. It wasn’t an email or a text; it was a real letter with a stamp that would arrive in the mailbox. That was a lot more exciting! To cut a long story short, it took a lot of work but Lucy soon had thousands of people wanting dolls whose little sisters would answer letters. Lucy had five people working full time.

A famous online market wanted to take over Lucy’s enterprise and Lucy told them to jump into the lake. The same online market tried to do the same as Lucy and failed. After three years, Lucy’s dolls became unfashionable. They were put on forgotten shelves along with every Cabbage Patch doll in the world.

But it didn’t matter. Eden is now a qualified Marine Biologist and the other two children have equally successful careers. Lucy’s grandchildren often come to stay with their grandmother in her mansion.

Story 9: Egg sandwiches

This is the seventh and final day of seven days in which an earlier story is repeated. Today it is Story 9: “Egg sandwiches”. It was first posted on 19 October 2013.

The truth was, she didn’t get on all that well with her son, although she loved him dearly. At least, she didn’t get on well since he’d reached puberty. They couldn’t seem to talk. And now he was eighteen. So it was particularly special when he asked her to come to a social afternoon at one of his mate’s houses to celebrate a marriage engagement. “Just my mates and their Mums”, he said. “And bring something to eat.” It was their way of getting food.

She rather liked his friends, but he never brought them home. All the other parents seemed to have their share of the young set calling around at their homes. Not that they necessarily socialized with them — but at least they were there and, somehow, relevant. She had felt… well, left out. She thought perhaps they scorned her behind her back.

But now he had invited her. “Bring something to eat”, he’d said. “Bring something to eat.” In some silly way (at last! at last!) she felt as if she was wanted.

That morning she boiled some eggs, forked them to a paste and made some sandwiches. She arranged them on a plate with a piece of parsley.

She was a little bit scared. Since her husband had left quite a few years back, and she was left to manage alone, she never quite knew how she was doing. This little party was her way of saying — perhaps without anyone noticing — “This is my son. I think I’ve done a reasonable job”.

The little social started, and she felt so proud of her son. He walked in with her and said to everyone as they entered, “This is my Mum”, and he seemed to mix so nicely and casually with everyone. She had a lovely conversation too with one of his mates — about fishing, and where the best trout places were in the river. Later she heard someone say, “Shit, who made the fucking egg sandwiches?” And, when at the end of the afternoon she went to get her plate to go home, she noticed that no one had eaten anything she’d made.

2350. Family secrets

Even though Stacy had been told all her life that she was adopted she suspected in fact that her mother was her real mother and her father was her real father. Stacy was number six in a family of six children. In fact, four of her brothers and sisters were her full brothers and sisters, and even though she was ten years younger than they were there was nothing unusual in that. One of her brothers, the fifth sibling, had the same mother but the father was different; “Swedish” the DNA tests were to reveal.

To prove her point, Stacy had had secret DNA tests done of the family and the results proved her point: her mother was her real mother and her father was her real father. So why the adoption story?

Just as Stacy was about to confront her parents to learn the truth they were both killed in a traffic accident. Perhaps one of her brothers and sisters might know the story. Her oldest sister might know; mothers often divulged family secrets to daughters. But Yolanda, the oldest sister, knew nothing. Perhaps the Portuguese family living next door might know something; they had been great friends of the family. Possibly Stacy’s mother had divulged something, woman to woman, over a nice cup of tea. Nothing. Jorginho, the Portuguese husband, said that even if he knew something he was staying out of other families’ personal affairs. He didn’t know anything of course.

That was when Stacy’s “half Swedish” brother, Björn, stepped forward with an explanation. Their mother had had a torrid affair with a passing Swedish tennis player. The marriage broke up. The parents got divorced. Several years later the parents reconciled and Stacy was born “out of wedlock”.  After the re-marriage Stacy was formally adopted by her father.

All this doesn’t help to explain what the DNA tests missed: that all the brothers and sisters except for Stacy and Björn, were half Portuguese.

2326. Here comes the bride

Karen’s mother and I have been estranged for about twenty years. Karen was only three when Samantha packed up and left. She wanted nothing to do with Karen. Now suddenly it’s all lights and bubbles.

Karen’s about to get married – this very day in fact – and as soon as an engagement was announced Samantha appeared out of the woodwork and began organizing things. Karen wanted a small quiet wedding; Samantha wanted it big. Karen wanted it in a little country church; Samantha wanted it in a sprawling garden. Karen wanted to wear something new and lovely that she could use as Sunday best after the wedding (we’re not particularly well-off); Samantha wanted a full-scale wedding gown. Karen thought little home-made cupcakes could be fun; Samantha wanted a three-tiered wedding cake. The list went on and on.

Of course Karen tried to be nice. She tried to steer convivially between her own wishes and the demands of her mother. Not particularly successfully I must admit. The wedding is today. It’s meant to be outside. It’s meant to be with an extravagant wedding gown. It’s meant to cater for at least two hundred people. The mother of the bride has a new hat. And a new dress. And a new handbag.

Anyway, I’m happy to say it looks like it’s raining. In fact it’s currently hosing down. And I’ve just got a text message from Karen and Gilbert. They got married yesterday in a registry office before leaving for their honeymoon.

2251. The eyes have it

Upon the birth of her baby Desdemona was horrified: her baby had three eyes. Everyone said the baby looked like its father, but all that Desdemona could see were three eyes. It was indeed a deformity that couldn’t be corrected.

Only a few commented on the three eyes. Most were polite and coo-cooed at the “lovely baby”. But it wasn’t lovely; it was hideous. One or two offered a cruel joke by way of coping. Things like: Peek-a-boo, I see a twinkle in its eyes.

Eyes in society are not only for seeing; they are things of beauty. Eyes come in different colours. Some wear coloured contact lenses to complement their hair colouring. Some wear makeup – mascara and eye shadow and artificial eye lashes.

Desdemona and her husband came from different worlds. Her husband’s planet was renowned for its eyes. In fact her husband had eleven eyes and Desdemona had hoped that some of his genetic material would have rubbed off on wee Billie. It was disappointing. Despite his eleven-eyed father Billie would be saddled with only three eyes for a lifetime.

2234. Grandma’s photo album

A lot of photos in my late grandmother’s photo album have some person cut out with scissors. I asked my mother about it and she didn’t have a clue why. She said she thought the pictures were complete when she got the album when grandma died.

I went through the album carefully trying to find two photos the same or similar; one with a person cut out and one with the whole photo intact. I couldn’t find any. And then I found two that might be of help. It looked like they were both taken on the same occasion. It was someone’s birthday because a man was blowing out candles on an outside table. In the first one the figure standing behind the chair of the candle blower had been cut out. There are four other men in the photo counting the candle blower. In the second photo they are standing in a row. I can be certain that four of them are the same because of their hats and scarves. The fifth person could be the same as the one cut out but I can’t be sure. I didn’t know who any of them were. The one cut out is the only one wearing a hat without a noticeable hatband.

I showed the photo to my mother and asked if she knew who they were. She looked at it and said she didn’t know.

“Where did you get that photo from?” she asked. And I said it was in grandma’s album. Later when I went to look at it again the fifth figure in the photo had been cut out. It could only have been cut out by my mother because grandma is dead. I didn’t like to ask my mother about it because she sometimes gets quite cranky when I ask too many questions. She brought me up on her own. Apparently I was an “accident”, but I’m certainly pleased I’m here! I often wonder who my father might have been. A picture would be nice.

2156. Ballet class

They simply didn’t get on. What is more, Rose and Jillian lived next door to each another. Whenever one visited the other it would end in an argument. Goodness knows why they even bothered to visit; just trying to be neighbourly I guess.

It came to a head when Rose called in and offered to take Jillian’s daughter to ballet classes. “You know,” said Jillian, “that I’m more than capable of taking her there myself. What’s more, I quite enjoy it. So thank you, but no.”

It happened while Jillian was in the shower. Rose turned up, bundled the daughter into the car, and took her to the ballet class. Jillian was furious, and perhaps rightly so.

It can be a pain living next door to one’s mother.

2132. Rainy days

It had rained all week. Sometimes the showers were quite heavy and accompanied by thunder. Trixie was trapped inside for four days with her five school age children. It was the “summer” break. Her husband was somewhere up in Alaska on some business with oil. He wouldn’t be back for another week.

What does one do with five children aged five to twelve (including the twins) stuck inside for a week? The colouring-in books were finished; the computer games had run their course (at least the time Trixie allotted for computer games had run their course); jigsaws were done; cards were played… Even the guitar sat abandoned and untuned in the corner of a now fairly messy living room.

The rain had caused havoc. Surface water covered backyard lawns. The roads weren’t dangerous rivers but still required much care. The local park was a lake!

“Come on children,” declared Trixie. “Leave your raincoats behind. We’re going to the park.”

Off they went in the rain complete with soccer ball. Never was such muddy fun had! They were a family of drowned rats – including Trixie. Soon they were joined by a few other families, maybe twenty people in all. By now the playing field was in a fairly muddy condition, but Nature sorts out such things, and it is what parks are for.

Back home they couldn’t stop talking about it! All were showered, dried, and changed. Trixie baked some cinnamon buns with lashing of melted butter.

2059. The meanest, nastiest mother

Letitia’s nine-year-old son, Jason, was a brat. It was a quality he had inherited from his mother. Jason’s teacher (currently on strike) had described Letitia as “the meanest, nastiest mother I have ever encountered in my thirty-two years of teaching.”

Indeed, Jason had inherited every inch of his mother’s nastiness, and not an ounce of his father’s niceness. His father visited once a month, for an hour only. That was all that Letitia allowed. The father was there, said Letitia, to “pay the bills and stay out of our life.”

How the tables turned when Paddy came into a considerable fortune! The ink had hardly dried on Paddy’s newly-created will, leaving all to Jason, when Letitia conceived a plot. Next time Paddy visited she would poison him.

Letitia shared her plan with Jason. “You want to be rich? Let’s not hang around. Let’s get rid of him. Here’s the plan…”

Jason was to offer his father a cup of coffee. He was to put the poisonous powder into his father’s mug along with the sugar.

Jason took after his mother – the meanest, nastiest mother ever encountered. When his father visited Jason prepared the coffee as instructed. He gave his mother the special mug.