mom + pond =

April 20, 2005

As far as standards of motherhood go, I believe I can safely say that my own mother plants her feet firmly outside the boundaries of the expected. Case in point:
Like the good, conventional daughter that I am, I called her this evening to report on the scholarship awards ceremony we were returning from—thinking I was fostering her need to be proud and parental. Like the unconventional mother that she is, she replied with her own rivaling tale of the day.
Overhearing from the front seat, when I said goodbye my grandparents promptly inquired as to what mom had gotten herself into this time. And I duly relayed the story . .
My mother, it seems, invented her own [unconventional] method for breaking in her new shoes this afternoon. She had accompanied my stepfather on a day trip to Keene so as to get some “big city” errands accomplished that their rural town does not allow for. One of these, earlier in the day, involved the investment of a new pair of shoes. Shoes are understandably important for Mom, and so she had decided to try a pair of Merrells this time. And they were on sale, so she [of course] had to buy them.
New shoes afoot, and several errands completed, later in the day she found a nice park, with a pleasant-looking pond, and decided to go for a short walk. Nearing the pond, one crutch found a wet patch of pine needles, her foot accordingly found a slippery slope of grass, and down she went. Into the pond. She emerged momentarily, laughing, and quite wet. Keep in mind that my stepfather was nowhere nearby at the time, and that the park itself was unoccupied, except for Mom. She now found herself in the predicament of being a slightly less-than-normally mobile person, alone, and in a pond. After surveying her surroundings, she noticed some stumps on the other end of the good-size pond that looked promising as far as providing the support needed to lift herself and her crutches back onto dry land. So she, as she relayed it to me, “rolled” to the other side. “Rolled??” I questioned, a bizarre image in my mind. She then clarified that she had probably slided more than rolled. But I dare say, I quite prefer to keep the verb “roll” for my own personal amusement. At any rate, her plan worked, and she got herself out of the pond. Then, being my [unconventional] mother, her next logical step was to go back to the store where she had purchased her fine new shoes and, in all her dripping finery, announce to them how pleased she was with her new shoes, now that she had “broken them in.”

And that, my friends, is my mother.

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