May is a special month for me, especially since my birthday falls on the 11th; thank you very much to those who acknowledged it on Social Media.
It’s also a sad month that marked the death of my dad ten years ago already, which occurred on 8th May 2007. A journal entry last year went into some detail about it, and also the passing of my mother, going on 52 years in September. Talk about my feeling like a dinosaur.
Mothers’ Day is tomorrow, which is another empty holiday for which I won’t be celebrating, unfortunately; but, nevertheless, I do have many fond memories still that linger beyond the cobwebs of my mind. Thank goodness I haven’t lost it yet, although, some may prefer to differ.
I like to remember the happy, funny times spent with those missing from my life, like the time my father bought my mother and I a typewriter to share as a gift on one particular May 11, as Mothers’ Day and my birthday fell on the same day, which happens sporadically when the 1st of this month lands on a Thursday.
The next incidence of such would have been in 2020, if it weren’t for being a leap year. As a result, we’ll have to wait until 2025 instead. Hopefully, I’ll be around to see it at least one more time before I write my final chapter.
Getting back to the typewriter, another entry dealt with that funny story on a past Mothers’ Day feature, found within the hallowed archives of this blog.
My mother wasn’t particularly thrilled about it, however. I was though. It was one of the most practical things my father had given to me, whose benefits are evident even today with the ease of my typing this essay.
Growing up, especially as tyke, I was a dapper fellow, whose wardrobe was obsessively assembled by a particularly fashion-minded parent who wanted the best for her children, and especially to show off her sartorial eloquence during holidays when everyone used to dress up for the occasion.
That seems to be another thing of the past, putting on one’s Sunday best, complete with newly shined shoes and a starched white shirt, colorful tie and freshly pressed suit. I hated holidays for that as a youngster. Couldn’t get dirty and run around outside, playing ball or whatever.
My parents were from Canada, having moved to the States when I was in the oven, so to speak. We’d visit their families often, especially on holidays like Easter, sometimes Christmas and or New Years.
Labor Day Weekend was another big one for us to make the long journey up there from New Jersey before the New York State Thruway was built, taking US 9 instead through all the little towns and villages along the way.
On a Mothers’ Day, we happened to visit my father’s French Canadian brothers, four of whom lived next to one another in a rural farming town in Québec. Of course, my older brother and I had to be dressed to the hilt to make an impression that our family was doing considerably well in America. My elder sibling had gone off with relatives of his own age, while I remained with my parents.
While at one of my uncle’s farms, I wanted to go outside and play with my cousins. I loved it there, especially with all the animals: horses, pigs, dogs, cats, chickens, cows, goats, ducks, etc. We could walk for seemingly forever, leaving one pasture and going into another, for as far as the eye could see.
My mum warned me about getting dirty, and to not scuff my new shoes, which glistened in the sunshine like mirrors on my feet. My cousins and I ended up in the barn, playing in the haystack, for which I ended up with straw in the pockets of my pants, inside my shirt; but my shoes still maintained their shine.
In the late-afternoon, my companions said they had to go and round up the cows for the evening milking, asking me if I wanted to go with them.
“Mais oui,” I said. The oldest pointed to a door which led outside. He told me to exit the barn there, saying they would be right out after turning on the compressor for the milking machines.
Excited as a kid could be, I barrelled out the swinging door, not paying attention to where I was going, and sunk knee deep in cow manure, mud and slop that had accumulated from the rainy season in the pen outside where the cows were released after being milked.
My cousins were hysterical, laughing and making fun of my predicament, saying I was going to catch hell from my mother, obviously enjoying the thought of my forthcoming demise.
Smelling like the pigsty, or the outhouse after the morning rush, I made my way back to the farmhouse like a dog with its tail between its legs, whimpering from the thought of getting a whipping for destroying my shiny, new shoes, socks and spiffy suit pants.
Taking off my footwear before entering the kitchen, leaving them on the porch, wishing another pair of pants was readily available, I slowly slithered inside and was greeted with silence by everyone who was seated at the table. Everyone looked at me wide-eyed as if they had just seen the devil.
My mother’s jaw had fallen open. If not for being hinged to her skull, it would have certainly landed on the kitchen floor. I was ready for her to ask my uncle if she could use his shed to wallop my behind; but her look of hardened astonishment softened with bemusement. A smile appeared on her face.
She asked what happened and I told her. She laughed, got up and went out to our car to get my dungarees and a pair of sneakers, which I should have been wearing from the beginning.
The new shoes ended up in the trash bin with my soiled pants and socks. All had been ruined. She said I wouldn’t be receiving my allowance until I did some extra chores at home to compensate for the discarded items.
My uncle was ready to take his eldest into the shed for what he had done, but my mother insisted he didn’t, for, as she said in French, “Les enfants seront des enfants,” or “Kids will be kids.”
When we got home, I ended up making my bed for seemingly forever, doing a boatload of dishes for quite a spell, washing hers and my dad’s cars for a couple of months, along with my usual taking out the garbage, before I saw an allowance again.
Funny how we remember such things in detail, but sometimes can’t recall what we did yesterday.
Happy Mothers’ Day to whom that applies, and to my own mum, wherever she may be on the other side.
Thanks for stopping by and for your continual support.