Saturday, May 09, 2015

Happrageey Motherahdorah Dadooohrahy, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

When I was six-years-old, my family went on our first ski trip. Usually skiing meant driving up to the Telemark or Wilmot ski area in Wisconsin from our suburban Chicago home and back in the same day. This time, however, we stayed the weekend in the large and fancy cabin-in-name-only of our rich friends, the Smyths.

In the cabin, they had a stuffed elephant foot. Don’t ask me how or why I remember that. But they had one. Probably bagged on a safari by rich Mr. Smyth. 

Among the weekend ski guests was a considerably older woman of the age of ten named Sarah. Sarah had long, sandy brown hair and she was beautiful. My crush on her was surpassed only by her unabashed disdain for me. (In Sarah's defense, I am sure I pestered the holy crap out of her) 

This was a couple of years before my friends taught me we were supposed to hate girls. To say I was crushed by Sarah's lack of a crush was a crushing understatement. 

On the long ride home looking out at the endless snow-frosted dark  fields with their lonely white farm houses on a bitter cold February Sunday night, I did not say one single word. (This was highly unusual) All I could do was endlessly torture myself by thinking about Sarah. And thinking about how cruel and evil a world it was that would allow Sarah not to like me back.

Finally my mother turned around and said;

“Alex, I have a little secret I am not supposed to tell you. You know, Sarah? Well, she told me not to tell you, but she really, really likes you. But you can't tell anyone. She's a little embarrassed because, well, you are so much younger than she is. But she really likes you.”

It was, of course, a lie. I knew it was a lie. My mother knew I knew it was a lie.

But in her magical way that only mothers can, it instantly made me feel one hundred percent better.

I miss you every day, Mom. So does Virg. (My lovely wife, Virginia) You would be so proud of our daughter, your granddaughter, Ann Caroline. She's named after you. As I have always been, I am so proud of you. 

Would it have killed me to tell my Mom I was proud of her more often? 

Happy Mother’s Day, Slats and Nugs.