Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Cheery Countenance

Oh Mom! 
My twelve year old son came home from school with a problem. Reaching in his backpack, he pulled out an invitation to a friend’s Bar Mitzvah which was to occur the next day. Although he received the invitation several weeks earlier, he had neglected to show it to me but he really wanted to attend; so I called the number on the invitation and my son was graciously granted permission to attend.

Now however, my son had a bigger problem. He didn’t have a gift to take to the Bar Mitzvah. I assured him this was not a problem, we could still purchase a gift. It was then that I began to truly understand my son’s problem. The situation meant he would have to make a trip to the mall with me–his mother–on a Friday night!

In my son’s twelve year old world, the mall was the place to be on Friday nights. The fact that he might be seen with his mother was a huge concern! But, he wanted to attend the Bar Mitzvah, he needed to have a gift, and he could not drive. Frankly, he had no choice but to risk a mall trip with his mom.

Instead of taking offense by my son’s predicament, I was rather amused. I assured him I would do my best not to draw any attention. I teased, telling him it was not so bad to be seen with his mother. There were worse fates in life. He could have a life-threatening illness. He could be in a car wreck. Or he could be seen with me at the movies.
As we walked around the mall, he looked from side to side and over his shoulder trying to spot anyone he might know before they spotted us. At long last, we settled on a gift. By this time, we were quite hungry and the food court beckoned.

What a dilemma my son now faced! We could go home without eating and he would have safely survived the outing without being sited by any of the twelve year old–why are you out with your mother on a Friday night?–police. But the smell of the food court wafted our way and he was weakening.

Spurred on by the fact that we had not encountered any of his friends yet and with his cover still in tact; my son bravely decided to risk dinner with me. This took real bravado as it involved sitting at the same table with me for a prolonged period of time.
As we sat down with our food, he once again voiced fears that one of his friends might see us. Just as I was about to respond to his comment, I picked up a French fry. Dipping one end of the fry in ketchup, I started moving it towards my mouth as I began to speak. The fries at this place were made from extremely long potatoes. Each one looked to be six to eight inches long.

“I don’t know why you are so embarrassed to be seen with me!  There is nothing embarrassing about being with your mother! There is nothing wrong with me! I am an absolutely normal human being!” I said, holding the fry in my hand.

At that precise moment the fry, which was quite close to my mouth now, began to bend in the middle and break in two. I startled, jerking the fry towards my mouth as I simultaneously turned my head. I really cannot explain why this was my response to the breaking French fry. It all happened so quickly. But it resulted in the fry hitting my face just beneath my right eye and slowly starting to break. As it broke, it slid down my right cheek ever so slowly, spreading ketchup in a red line all the way down my face.

Essentially, after having just announced that I was a perfectly normal human being, I proceeded to jab myself in the cheek with a French fry dipped in ketchup.

My son exploded with laughter! Apparently, the humor of the situation far out weighed any possible embarrassment I might have caused. Then, with a huge grin on his face and shaking his head, he said, “Mom, I rest my case!”



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