I think I will just throw my hands up and quit…..that’s what I heard my Mama say and sometimes she said it often.
You see raising two boys and a girl who was a tomboy–all of us two years apart and then another baby girl nine years younger than my youngest of baby brothers—most days for our Mama were not for the faint of heart.
In the summer time it was rare if my Mama missed a week in the ER with one of my brothers. There was this one time when one of my brothers had watched a little too much of Evil Kinevel one Saturday on our three-channel televison set. It wasn’t long after watching the show he had a grand ideal. My brother went right out into our driveway where a man with a big dump truck had unloaded a pile of gravel for my Daddy. And my brother–which I will not name the one who did this, he built him a ramp of old boards and with his supped up spider bike tried to clear that huge mound of rocks. And me and my other siblings were off to my grandmother’s house and my Mama and my brother to the ER.
And there was another time when and again I won’t name names–one of my brothers decided he would tape 50 firecrackers together and light them all up at the same time. Needless to say he was the one who was lit up the most–and another trip to the ER. And on one occasion one of my brothers decided to it would be cool to stick his fingers into the spokes of his upside down bicycle wheel while it was turning at full speed. Not good. My grandmother then called my Mama at work and off they went to the friendly hospital. My brother with his hand wrapped up in a large towel and my grandmother almost in a panic.
Blood and stitches–they didn’t mix well with our Mama and because she was a frequent flyer in the ER they knew her well and prepared for her to pass out at any given time while stitching up my brothers and sister’s cuts and wounds.
It wasn’t that I didn’t ever get hurt–I did. But never did I have to require a trip to the ER for stitches. Although one time I did cause my little sister a trip to the ER to have stitches just above her eye. It wasn’t my fault. The story goes like this—every night after supper we would hit the ball field with my Daddy. The ball field, meaning our front yard. We had three trees for bases and home plate was right in front of the window–the big window we called the picture window. I was warming up in the batter’s box and my bat connected with my sister’s head who was a toddler at the time. She claims I did it on purpose. But everybody knows you don’t walk up behind someone when they are warming up to step into the batter’s box. It wasn’t a hard hit–but enough to cause a cut–one that required stitches.
Back to the picture window. My Mama is not the athletic type, her gifts are in the creative. She never joined us for our athletic events in the front yard. It was her sewing time. I am sure our after dinner baseball games gave her some much needed stress relief in that sewing chair. She sewed a lot while we were growing up. Her sewing chair always sat in front of the big window. So one night she was sitting in her comfy chair stitching away on some curtains and the baseball that one of my brothers fouled off cracked through the window and landed right in her lap full of half-sewn curtains. And the picture window was no more for a few days.
But the thing was about that foul ball and the broken window–my Daddy told my Mama he did it. And I argued with him. No it was ….., one of my baby brothers. But Daddy took the blame. Something I will never forget. Don’t get me wrong, we broke out several other windows during my childhood with foul balls, wild pitches, and wrong infield defensive plays but we never broke the big picture window but once. The other times we broke out the small windows—me and my brothers and we took the share of the blame. And Daddy, he would keep on replacing windows and Mama, she kept on sewing to pay for the glass.
And this is just a short glimpse into our childhood. Our teenage years–I won’t go there but my Mama’s frustration at times, it was like a broken record. Throw my hands up and quit, she would say. And honestly looking back we gave her plenty of reasons to want to quit. But she never did.
Mama, Happy Mother’s Day! I’m glad you didn’t quit on us.