Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Mom's Girls

I remember hearing mom always say she only wanted girls. She was "blessed to have gotten two girls." I don't think I ever learned why she didn't want sons and it probably doesn't matter. She got me, and she got my sister. So she got her girls.

My sister is younger. Two years and eight months younger, to be exact. Two girls. Just like she wanted. I don't think she always wanted to live out on a farm, but that's where we were. In a house, in a field.

I remember one summer when I was seven or eight, so my sister would have been five or six, we kept a garden out back of the house. It wasn't much, but it gave us all something to do. We'd weed the garden, and harvest the garden. A lot of the time, we'd just eat the vegetables from the garden. Just mom and her girls.

It was late summer, and my mom, my sister and I were out working in the garden. Mom had this habit of eating peas (pod and all) right off the vine while we were working.

One day, my sister and I got it in our heads to "help" mom get the best pea pods. We'd pick out what we thought would be the largest and juiciest pods and bring them to her. She'd thank us both, probably just thankful that we weren't arguing. No, we weren't fighting. Not that day. That should have been warning sign number one: her girls were getting along.

We were too busy to fight. We were giving mom the "best" peas. We were helping, we were behaving. We were inspired. We were working together. We were headed down a dark road, and she didn't even see it coming.

We took a large pea pod, opened it and removed all the peas.

Then we got a worm.

I don't remember if it was my idea or her idea, but I do know it was my idea to wash the worm off in a puddle. Who wants to eat a dirty worm?

By this time, we had already set a precedent of bringing pods to mom, who would thank us and then eat them. Probably so happy that her girls were getting along, and working together. So like we had been doing all afternoon, we brought her the pod.

We watched in anticipation as she raised the pod to her lips. Our eyes grew wide. She grew suspicious, as her two girls watched her so intently with huge unblinking eyes. Then she stopped.

She opened the pod to find a live worm (clean-ish) where the peas should be. I don't remember her reaction, but I remember that we ran for it, giggling. A lot.

When dad came home that evening, she told him the story. The whole story. How we were working in the garden. How her girls were so helpful. How we brought her the best peas to eat. How one pod had a wriggling worm. How we had been good enough to wash it off in a puddle.... How she would have fallen for it, if her girls hadn't stood there and stared at here so intently ... as if waiting for something.

He laughed, and laughed, and laughed. Which meant we could laugh and laugh. We were totally off the hook. When dad laughed, we weren't going to get in trouble. So we all laughed. All except mom, who didn't think the situation was really all that funny.

I bet if she had thought of it first, she would have laughed. She would have laughed until tears rolled down her cheeks. But she didn't think of it first. Her girls did.

Yeah, mom wanted girls. But my dad got two tomboys.

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