From Mom, With Love
March 18, 2008
Mom and Dad came in town and are staying on the fold-out couch for one week. I love when they visit because Mom just picks up her job where she left off 24 years ago. Things around the house are magically cleaned, food is cooked, new foods just appear on the shelf–and it’s GOOD food.
Mom sat next to me at dinner last night and I didn’t even think about putting my arm on her arm during the whole meal. My family is very affectionate so putting an arm around mom or dad is normal.
After dinner the dishes were magically cleared without my help. I went into the other room and came back to the dishes being finished. Not finished and drying on the counter–they were finished and put away.
Holding my eleven month old son, Johnny and mom walked up to us. Mom put her arm around us and didn’t kiss Johnny, she kissed me. “He looks just like you did at his age.” Then it hit me, when mom came up and put her arm around me, she was thinking of me as her little baby. My son triggered a 41 year old memory in Mom’s mind when she held me in her arms while cooking in the kitchen, no doubt filled with cigarette smoke.
My kids are raised in world where food has no soul. We aren’t allowed to put cake or sugary snacks in their lunch because it might be offensive to other kids or whatever to their classmates at the Catholic pre-school they attend. We can’t put peanut butter on their sandwiches because two kids in the whole school are allergic.
My poor kids have to eat shitty cereal from Whole Foods. The cereal they eat is called PANDA PUFFS which is low in sugar, made from crops without genetically tweaked corn and every box comes with a preachy message about man clearing rain-forests. Indoctrination complete. When I was a kid a cereal box called PANDA PUFFS was probably made with bits of real panda.
Imagine my shock when I opened the cupboard and found a box of Zingers. DOLLY MADISON ZINGERS! What the hell happened? Did Jesus return and take us to heaven? I checked the ingredients and there was no hemp involved so it couldn’t be some piece-of-shit Whole Foods knock-off. This was for real…ZINGERS! There were some Ho-Hos in the box too so this had to be my parent’s box of travel snacks. Mom brought some love in a box! She knows what makes my heart and soul tic. Mom loves me. And what about my Beloved wife? How can she love anyone she makes eat Panda Puffs? I’m calling Child Protective Services and have her thrown into goody-goody parent jail.
When I was in high school I used to eat a bowl of Captain Crunch as a snack. Not just Captain Crunch but I’d put a piece of cake on top. If there was no cake I would cover it in Hershey’s chocolate syrup. I regularly put a scoop of ice cream on my Apple Jacks and I mean I did that every day. We were raised on Honey Smacks when they were called SUGAR Smacks. Frosted Flakes used to be called SUGAR Frosted Flakes because moms used to know that if you love your kids you’ll smother them in sugar.
My kids love when I make oatmeal because I put a heaping spoonful of brown sugar on their bowl. Mom just sprinkles a pinch of brown sugar. That’s empirical proof that I love them more.