Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Why I Deserve a Dream Vacation - A Mother's Story

A photo of everyone this past Christmas.  (Just missing So-Crazy, my sister's boyfriend)

I receive daily emails from my Family, which includes; two parents, six siblings, one brother-in-law and two boyfriend-in-laws...And sometimes grandmothers, aunts, uncles and cousins are included in our discussions.  The subjects are endless.  It's a photo of my nieces here, a story from a brother or sister there...or It could be a funny forward...It's nice to know that no matter where each of my siblings may be in the world, we stay connected.  This past email going back and forth between the family was based on something my sister, PopTart, posted on Facebook.  Here is the letter my Mother forwarded to each of us.  I remember this time very well...It made me cry for two reasons;
One because I remember this chaotic time.  I remember my siblings and myself constantly asking for something and somehow my Mother was able to make everything look effortless...  And the second reason is, my Mother was constantly sacrificing every inch of herself to make us happy.  She may have initially said no to baking two dozen cupcakes the day of the bake-sale but she would always show up to school in the afternoon with beautifully frosted and delicious treats.  She didn't win the dream vacation but she should have...She still deserves a dream vacation...I hope to make that happen for her very soon...

Here is her essay to a magazine on why she deserves a vacation: [Written in 1993 by my Mother Catherine]  Of course, if anyone knows of current contest for a dream vacation please let me know...I will forward this essay to them.

Why I Deserve a Dream Vacation

While reading a woman’s magazine this morning, I found a contest that offers as its grand prize, an all-expenses-paid vacation to New York!  Air fare, show tickets, the finest restaurants, a grand hotel suite.  All paid for!  The contest’s only requirement is that I write a composition entitled, Why I Deserve a Dream Vacation.  Couldn’t be easier!

I look for a piece of blank paper in my drop-front, Governor Winthrop desk (the only piece of furniture in my house without Matchbox-car tire tracks on it.)
     I try each of the childrens’ rooms looking for stationery, notebook paper, anything!
     (Aha!  The kitchen!)
     I take a brown paper bag and a crayon stub and begin to write...

     I deserve a dream vacation because...
    “Mom?” a voice calls.“
‘Excuse me, please’,” I prompt.
     “Mom!”  Another voice.
     “Mommmmmm.” And another.
     “What is it, Dot?”
     “What, Cora?” 
     “I’m right here, Perry.”
     “Hey! Mum!”
     “Yes, AdaRuth.”
     “Yo! Mum!”
     “Mom, I need you, Mom.”
     “O.K.  One minute, Isaiah.”
     “WHAT, Eli!?”

     ...it seems like all I do is laundry and cook and...


     “Mom, can you give me a ride to practice, Mom?”
     “In a minute, O.K., Perry?”

     “Hey, Mom.  What’s for dinner?”
     “Spaghetti and meatballs, Eli.  And, you still have to eat breakfast and lunch today first.”


     “Mommmm.  Oh, dearest Mommmmm.  Can you make two dozen cupcakes for my class for this afternoon? Pleeeease?”

     ...hand out money.  I can’t...

     “Mom?  Can I borrow two dollars?  Just ‘til Friday?”

     “Mom, what’s for dessert tonight?”

     I decide that, since the Muffin Man must cometh, I will continue to write my winning essay tomorrow.


     “Mum!  I need a baby picture to bring to school today.”


     What   -   is   -   it?  Oh, I didn’t mean to write that.

     “WHAT   -   IS   -   IT?”
     “Mom, I need a pair of sweatpants for gym today”

     “Mom, you know that mirror you used to let me use sometimes?  Well...”

     “Mom, no mayonnaise on my sandwich!”
     “Too late.”
     “I hate mayonnaise.”
     “Dorothy, you LOVE mayonnaise.”
     “I won’t eat it!”
     “O.K.  Well, I guess you’ll fix me.”

     Maybe I’ll wait ‘til the weekend to write.

     “Yo, Mom.  Can you wash these pants for me so I can wear them to 11:30 Mass?”
     “Eli! It’s 10:45!!!”
     “No problem, Mom.  They can be a little damp.”
     “Chill out, Mom!  I’ll wear them the way they are.  Jeeez!”

      “Hey, Mom!”
     “What, Isaiah?”
     “Hey, Mommmmm!”
     “Guess what?”
     “That’s what!”
     (Maniacal laughter.)
     “Where are you, Mom?”
     “I’m in the bathroom, Cora.”
     “Can I come in?”
     “I want to talk to you.”
     “Well, wait a minute.”
     “I can’t.  It’s important.”
      (Sigh) “O.K.  Come in.”
      (She enters)  “How does this hairstyle look?”

     “Mom? Mom? Mom?”
     “My head hurts when I do ‘this’.”
     “Well, then don’t do that.”
     “O.K., Mom.”

     ...it seems that I can never finish anything without...

     “Hey, Ma!”
     “What, now?”
     “Oh, there you are, Mom.”
     “Welllll, what do you guys want?”
     “Nothing, Mom.  We just didn’t see you...”
     “You mean, in the usual places: doing the laundry? doing dishes? vacuuming?”
     “We thought you might have gone somewhere without us.”
     (Fat, bloody chance…)

     ...bless me, Editor, it’s been eighteen years since my last vacation...

    “Mom, have you seen my best toy?”
     “Which toy?”
     “You know, the one I like.”
     “Which toy?”
     “The one with the funny things on it.”
     “What funny things?”
     “The things that make me laugh!”
     “What do they look like?”
     “It gots two parts with soff’ stuff, and I can pack my Barbie clothes in it, and then I fold it and carry it like a pock-a-book.”
     “What color is it?”
     “I ‘fink it’s white.  Oh, here it is!”
     “That’s my new BRA!!!!!”

     ...if I could just get a few days’ rest.  I know the contest said “Trip for Two,” but really.  I don’t mind going by myself.  Really.  Two days.  In a bathroom by myself.  In a BED by myself.  Restaurants!  That’s SIX MEALS worth of “by myself!”

     “Mom?  Is my dress with the white dots clean?”
     “I think so.”
     “Where is it?”
     “I’ll help you look for it.”

     “Have any of you kids seen my essay?”
     “What did it look like, Mumma?”
     “I was writing it on the back of a brown paper bag.”
     “Yeah, Mom.  I saw it, but I needed it to cover my science book.”



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