I have several mom stories.
The first was when I was in second grade. I would have been 7. We’d made it with just one car, a station wagon until then. My mom would take my dad to work just after lunch, then a neighbor who worked nights at the paper, would bring him home after midnight. So my mom pretty much raised four boys. Not saying my dad wasn’t around, but my mom did the discipline for the most part.
She was tough and didn’t take much off any one of us. We got whippings. She was firm in the neighborhood (Westmont Circle in Meadowcliff). The boys in the neighborhood did as she said. And, she was firm to the neighbors that they keep control of their pets.
There were a few loose cats, some of whom no one claimed. Not sure how that worked, but they were troublesome.
When I was in second grade, we finally got a second car. It was a special gift to my mom, a white Impala convertible. At least that’s what I believe it was. She also had a Nova convertible at one point. There were red ones and white ones.
The one for this story was white, with white leather seats. It was pretty sweet. My mom loved it.
There was one cat that caused trouble for my mom. It would test it’s claws on the convertible top. We had a car port, open on two sides. No garage.
One morning – and my two older brothers were away at camp – the cat had a litter in the front seat of my mom’s car. She was furious. I heard new words.
She got a burlap sack and I held it as she dumped in cats. The mother cat went in, too.
It was tossed in the back seat and I joined the sack. We went over the Arkansas River bridge downtown and my mom had me chunk it. It was all I could do to get it out the car and over the concrete railing. I can still see a wiggling sack go over the top out of the convertible and yes the top was down.
Interestingly, that event was never discussed again. I did tell my brothers when they got home in a few days, but they advised that I stop telling it.
The other story was about her teaching me to dance. I was a sophomore – not old enough to drive) when an older girl (a LR Central Hi Stepper no less) asked me to go to a dance. I was on the basketball team and it was a dance after a game. I wouldn’t need to take her to the game, but I’d have to get her home after the dance.
My two older brothers started laughing as soon as they heard about it. They knew I was going to have to have waltz lessons and would also need a driver to get the girl home. It would be my mom in both cases. My mom gave me lessons for about 10 nights in the kitchen with waltz music. It was awful. I cannot waltz to this day. The funny part, we all knew there would be no waltz music played at the dance.
So it all went fine and my mom picked us up after the dance. We took the girl home and I walked her to the door. I gave her a peck on the cheek and hustled back to the car, mostly glad it was all over.
I got back in the car and my mom was glaring at me. What was that? A peck on the cheek. You gotta kiss them on the lips. I might have if she hadn’t been in the car watching, I said. It was pretty funny in retrospect, but not so funny then.
I got home and my brothers asked if I kissed her on the lips and if mom had watched. I said, no. They started laughing. Apparently, they had heard that speech before, if not in the same circumstances at least at one point or another after or before a date.