Thursday, August 21, 2014

What Moms Do

“Aw, Mom,” A.J. wailed.

A.J. and his Mom, Juanita, were discussing a trip that A.J. had fixed in his mind. An ardently opinionated kid, A.J. had middle-of-the-back hair, a booming voice, the physique of a 30-year-old, all of it directed by I.Q. points in the 160 range, and a fifteen-year-old body. The kid was a handful.

The trip involved the purchase of an aging van, enough to hold six or seven other fifteen-year-old-boys, all of them wanting to travel unsupervised around the Pacific Northwest. At the least, those boys were dreaming of beer and girls.

Of course, Mom would, according to A.J., pick up the costs, van and all, because, you know, fifteen-year-old boys don't have jobs.

“I've been thinking about the trip,” Juanita said. “I think it could be a great experience. You'll learn a lot.” She paused for effect. “But I'd want to go too. I get carsick and throw up fairly often, so I'd need to ride shotgun. But I can give you directions and advice, quite a bit actually.”

Aw, Mom.

A week or so later, Juanita mentioned the trip again. “I was talking to Barb about your trip, and she wants to go. I know she looks like a literary fuddy-duddy, but she's fun sometimes, well, maybe not most of the time. She's just the least bit incontinent, so we'll have to stop every twenty minutes, maybe every fifteen minutes, give her a poop and pee stop. Or as close to that as we can get. She's not afraid of going potty in the bushes, so that won't be a problem.”

“Uh. ” A.J. didn't finish the sentence.

Later in the month, Juanita continued the conversation, “A.J., your grandmom wants to come too. She's spry-for a 93-year-old, don’t you think? The thing is, she can only ride for an hour at a pop, maybe a little less. So we could go that far in the morning and then again in the afternoon. You'd have to go slow over the mountain passes, and along the rivers, like 15-miles-an hour slow, because she cries if you drive any faster. We'd need to stay in nicer places, you know how fussy she can get, and those can be pricey, so talk to the guys about that. Plus she goes to bed at 6:30, so we'd have to be quiet so she can rest. She doesn't snore all that loud.”

Another pause, one A.J. was braced for.

“OK, she’s thunderous.”


Juanita was not the first mother to use sneakery, perhaps trickery to corral a willful son.

Nor the last.

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