Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Mom

You've heard about them, and you probably know at least one of them. The super mom who makes Valentines, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas goodie bags for every student in her child's class. The mom who sends in cupcakes, cookies, and brownies. The one who volunteers for every project, every field trip, and every mission, no matter how large or small.

Today, even a few dads fit this mold, but I don't believe those people existed back in the late 60's and early 70's. If they did, it certainly wasn't to the extreme that it is today. Well, not for my mom anyway.

My mom wore full makeup every day. Her hair was always "done". My mom wore high heeled sandals and had her toes painted. She had long red fingernails and smoked cigarettes. She loved me with all her heart and soul, but she was not a mother to be spotted hanging out at my school.

But there was this one time....

My mother somehow got roped in to going with my class, on a field trip to the zoo. I believe I was in kindergarten, possibly first grade. We all wore necklaces made from construction paper and yarn. Mine was in the shape of an elephant. I still have it. The elephant had my name and school written on the front. This would be a relatively easy job. Mom was in charge of about 6 kids, and one of them was me. Each mom was given a rope with 6 big knots tied in it. Each child had to hold the rope. No one lets go, no one gets lost. It's practically a fool proof system.

Other than the elephant necklace, I have no recollection of that day or that trip to the zoo, but for many years to follow, my mother remembered. She remembered it well.

The children followed direction, and held tight to the rope, but apparently we got tired, because my mother seemed to remember having to use the knotted rope to pull us up every hill at the zoo. In those days they gave kids immunizations at school. We had all just received one, and according to my mother, one boy was fascinated by this, and kept punching kids in their sore arms. He even tried to stick some type of sharp object into one child's injection site.

While this made for a good story my mother would tell anytime the subject of chaperoning or volunteering came up, it also helped her confirm she was not cut out to be a room mother.

It was her last field trip.


Gordon said...

I can understand how your mom felt. That would have been when the zoo was pretty new, too.

Mystical said...

In today's world, the kind of mom that you describe in your first paragraph is the kind that is raiding her kids ADD meds! ;-p

Mary said...

You got that right, Mystical. They scare me a little.