I’ve mentioned before that I’m the eighth child in a family of nine. My mom worked at home, raising the children, while my dad worked hard building his Podiatry practice. Whenever my mom could no longer handle our constant bickering behavior toward one another, out of frustration she would clamp down hard with her teeth to the skin between her thumb and index finger. After nine kids it’s truly a wonder how she didn’t have permanent teeth marks indented into her left hand.
My parents were also very devout Catholics who were not shy about correlating some random event to the work of the devil “You’re actions (satan!!!) are going to send us (your father and I) to hell!” I remember mom telling one of my siblings. At the time, hearing words like that was serious business. Today however that don’t seem to hold as much punch…
Yesterday morning, the boy who is usually awake at the crack of dawn, acted like a teenager and slept through his alarm. When I emerged from my shower I yelled down the stairs to see if he was moving. After a few seconds he yelled back that he was up and getting ready for school. Both kids have very specific tasks to accomplish first thing upon waking: bathroom, deodorant, dress, eat breakfast, take vitamins and pack a lunch. The boy usually accomplishes the bathroom and getting dressed parts and needs to be reminded about everything else (I sometimes wonder if he just likes the sound of my voice). The doll will usually do everything but make her lunch-she usually asks me to do so.
When I walked into the living room I found the boy in a semi state of school dress, lying on the couch and looking at his nook with his headphones on too. “Did you eat breakfast, take your vitamins and pack yourself a lunch?” I asked as I walked through. “Mama I’ve only been awake for fifteen minutes” he replied. Perturbed I said “So you decided watching a video on your nook was more important than getting your morning chores done-especially when you’ve overslept?” “I wasn’t watching a video…” He said as he began to sit up, “I was reading a comic strip” “And this is supposed to be better somehow? Put that damn Nook down and get your ass moving!!” I replied. Then out of nowhere, my mother’s spirit sprang forth from and yelled “You know what? That nook is satan in disguise!! That nook is distracting you from being the best you can be-it’s the devil I tell you!! Don’t let satan ruin you boy!!”
As you might imagine the boy gave me an odd look of mixed up/curious thoughts, as he began to get up. “Mama…” He began but I motioned for him to stop arguing and to get moving. Then I took a personal assessment and checked my hands for teeth marks. Having found none, I decided mom had only temporarily invaded my thought process…though she was dead on with her assessment.