Monday, December 03, 2007

The Day My Mom Got Stoned

Today is my mom’s birthday. Instead of telling you her age, I will tell you a story.

(And perhaps by the end, Tammi will feel better about never being allowed to mow a lawn.)

I loved mowing the lawn as a teen. Our farm had plenty of lawn to mow.
I'll admit, what I loved most was that we had a riding mower.

One day, I was tooling around the yard on the riding mower when I noticed a stone about the size of a fist in my path. I considered stopping the mower in order to move the rock… for about two seconds… then mowed right over it. It thudded and clunked around under there, then… nothing. I shrugged to myself and continued on.

On my next pass, my mother was standing in the driveway. Her eyes were wide, and her jaw was slack. Without stopping, I put my hands up in a “What’s up?” gesture. Her expression remained the same. But she pointed. Toward the house. At the kitchen window. Which had a hole in it. Roughly the size of a fist.


I turned off the mower, and we both ran into the house.
On the kitchen floor against the wall farthest from the window was the family cork board with all its notes and push pins scattered. Next to it was the stone I saw in the lawn.


“Did I do that?”
Mom only nodded.
“Did you see it? Where were you?”
She swallowed. “I was washing the dishes.”


We both turned silently toward the sink… which was directly under the window with the hole.

“Are you okay? Did it hit you? ARE YOU OKAY?”
Mom blinked and nodded, and when she spoke, it was as if she was remembering a dream. “I had just bent over to throw something in the waste basket, and I heard a thud. And I saw the cork board was gone, and I thought, ‘Huh, I wonder why that fell’, and then I stood up… and I saw…” and she could only point at the hole in the window.
"You didn't even hear the glass break?"
"Uh uh."
“Oh my god, Mom! OH MY GOD!”
“Uh huh.”

After the stone had bumped around under the mower, the blade had launched it through the air, through the kitchen window, over my mom’s back, and across the room where it had crashed into the corkboard and finally dropped.

We rehung the corkboard, sorted through the papers, cleaned up what little glass there was. The stone had punched a neat hole, clean as a whistle. No shattered pieces, hardly any cracks. While we worked, Mom didn’t speak except to grunt in agreement or to chuckle nervously at something I’d said.

It was weird.
It was surreal.

I had almost killed my mom.

Dad didn’t even yell at me over it.
Within days, he’d put up a new window without a word.

I really didn’t want to finish mowing the lawn that day. I wanted to just follow my mom around the house. Wanted to be there in case something happened, because I realized if she had been hit, I wouldn’t have known it, and she'd have been lying there until I’d finished mowing the entire two acres.
Finally Mom told me to just go. She said she would be fine.
“Just don’t run over any more rocks.”

Today is my mom’s birthday.
She survived breast cancer, and more importantly, she survived me (which still has no known cure).

My mom is awesome!


Lemon Stand said...

What a great story! (since it has a happy ending!)

I can relate to my Mom having survived me too...

Oddybobo said...

Happy birthday mom!

Thumper said...


If I'd done that, mine would have held it over my head (not in a mean way) forever... Every family gathering would have in it at someplace "Remember that time Thumper tried to kill me...?"

HapKiDo said...

Happy Birthday to your Mom!

I tell you, these stories get better every time I read them. That touch of humor you add at the end is priceless. I still don't know how you can deliver the feeling of "being there" in so few words.

A Mother's Intuition said...

Happy Birthday to your Mom!! I don't know how my mom survived my sister and I. We drove her crazy!!

Found your blog via Lemon Stand!! It's great!

Richmond said...

Holy Crap!!

And very happy birthday wishes to your Mom! Whoohoo!

Mrs. Who said...

Happy Birthday to your Mom. And stay away from those rocks. Even pet rocks.

vw bug said...

Happy Birthday to your Mom! I bet my mom could relate to surviving. ;-)

Tammi said...

Happy Birthday to your Mom.

I think there should be a club or an award or somethin'. For those Mama's that survive kids like "us"..........

Rave said...

HB Roses Mom

wRitErsbLock said...

happy birthday mom