Friday, May 7, 2010
Blue Sweater - #Fridayflash
Here is my Mother's Day story for #Fridayflash (check it out on Twitter). Please comment and/or critique as you see fit.
“I can’t find my blue sweater,” Addy whined from her bedroom. Addy had that frustrated look on her face that is so common with tweens—you know, the ‘whatever’ generation. Her mother was preparing lunches downstairs for Addy and her brother and looked up with a half smile on her face. She recognized the tone of her daughter’s voice.
“Have you looked in your closet?” she yelled to her daughter.
“Of course I looked in my closet. What are you making me for lunch? Oh no, not peanut butter and bananas again. My friends all bring things like ham and cheese and they think I’m poor because you keep giving me peanut butter and banana sandwiches.”
It was obvious that her mother didn’t understand what being a 12 year old girl was like these days.
“What did you do with my sweater, Mom?”
“Did you look in your middle drawer? Why not look in all your drawers. Maybe I just put it in the wrong drawer after I did the laundry.”
That would be just like her mother, Addy thought, putting her sweater in the wrong place.
“No, it’s not in any of my drawers. I wanted to wear that sweater today. It’s my favorite. I’ve looked everywhere. What did you do with it?”
“Addy, what can I do to you if I come upstairs and find that sweater in your room? Hmmm?”
“Can I ground you for the weekend?”
“Can I spank you?”
“Can I take away your cell phone for a week?”
Finally, Addy couldn’t stand it anymore. She knew her mother wouldn’t find it in her room so she yelled, “Yes! Yes! Yes! You can do all of those things. But you’ll never find it because it’s not There.”
Mom finished packing the lunches and walked up the stairs and stood in Addy’s doorway. Her daughter sat on the bed in her bra and jeans sulking.
“It’s lost!” she said.
Mom walked over to Addy’s closet. The floor was covered with clothes, some clean and some dirty. Bending over the pile, her mother lifted a pair of rejected jeans out of the stack. Under those there was a tee shirt with a peace symbol on it and spread out beneath that was a nightshirt.
“See? I told you it was lost,” Addy whined.
And then her mother picked up the nightshirt and there it was—the blue sweater. Without a word she picked up the sweater and smelled the armpits. It hadn’t been worn since she had washed it. She put it on the bed, smoothed it out while Addy looked on in amazement.
“You found it!” she wailed. “Oh mom, thank you!” she said as she slipped the sweater over her head.
“Turn around,” her mother said.
“Why?” Addy said as she started to turn.
“Because I’m going to spank you, and then take away your cell phone and, by the way you’re grounded for the weekend.”
Addy’s face froze. “My cell phone? Grounded for the weekend? Go ahead and spank me but don’t take away my cell phone!” Panic had overcome Addy’s 12 year old face.
“Say please,” her mother said.
“Please, mom, please?”
“Okay, Addy. You’re blue sweater looks nice but you should take better care of your things. Go downstairs and get your lunch. You’re going to miss the bus.”
In a flash Addy was down the stairs leaving her mother standing there smiling. As she ran out the door her mother heard her say quietly, “I love you, mom.” She didn’t answer. She didn’t need to. Addy knew.
© Susan Cross May 2010