Aric married Lauren in March, two years ago. He’s the oldest and the last, and after he got married I knew that I could rest in the shade of the tree from which I cut the laurel wreath of my success as a mother.
Let me rejoice, I thought, and take up oil painting or green bean growing or apply to be on the Osceola county volunteer mounted posse. You don’t have to tell me twice. In my “retirement” from mothering I intended to collect free horses and try to turn them into the sorts of beasts that don’t run away when people fly helicopters at them.
When my first child was married I was given a book, informing me that my duties as the mother-of-the-newly-married-person should include ONLY the sharing of an occasional home remedy and a recipe—if I knew any—anything else constituted meddling. You don’t have to tell me twice. Nagging is exhausting and meddling is nagging’s ugly, warty cousin—also exhausting.
I would be too busy becoming Grandma Moses anyway.
Then the phone calls started coming.
“Mom, you’ve got to help me,” The newly married Heather said.
“Only if this is for a recipe and/or a remedy,” I said.
“How do you roll crescent rolls?”
“You mean the kind in the can?”
“Are there another kind?” She sounded a little bit miffed.
“Well, find the point on the triangle,” I instructed, wisely.
“The point? There are three points. It’s nothing but points,” she pouted.
“Yes, true. There are three points, but I don’t think that it’s an equilateral triangle.” Finally, a use for my college mathematics; I felt smug.
“What the flip are you talking about? I rolled one up and it looks like poop.”
“That can’t be right,” I reassured.
WHAT I SAID NEXT: “Just roll up the long edge, so that the little apex of the triangle is on top, and then bend it into a little crescent, moon shape.”
WHAT SHE HEARD: “Roll up the quadrihexial axis of doughy junk around a stick and fling it at the moon.”
“Okay Mom, listen I have to go now, because I have a nosebleed,” Heather said, sounding muffled and stuffy from the ensuing nosebleed.
“Okay dear. Just apply pressure to your nose, but don’t tilt your head back. Goodbye and good remedy.”
Regarding the book with tips for mothers of the newly married—my daughter (wise beyond her cooking skill level) finally reassured me, “Forget the book. The book is crap. That’s not our family. It will never be our family. Just be yourself that kind of meddling has always worked before.”
True. I can’t say we always roll our crescent rolls the way everybody else does, but we do have a certain style, and that’s always worked before.
Linda (Leave A Message) Zern