Three Snapshots of My Mom

My mom sits across from me at the Chinese restaurant in a cramped booth. She puts a cube or wobbly cherry red Jello into her mouth. She tries to push it through the gaps where her teeth used to be, but the Jello is too slick. It slides out the side of her mouth and onto the table. We laugh and laugh.


We’re home alone. My mom decides we’re going to bake a chicken. She rinses it off in the sink and rubs salt and pepper on it. “Here, hold the oven bag,” she says.

I stand there, holding the bag just like she asked. She drops the chicken into the bag and it falls through the bag onto the linoleum floor. We laugh and laugh, neither of us can stop. I imitate the chicken several times as if a chicken carcass could have fallen and landed any other way. It is forever our little inside joke.


Mrs. Raney comes in yelling at us about something we don’t understand. We sit there and listen to her. Then my mom and I just look at each other. For some reason, a song pops into my head and I start, “Y los muchachos del barrio la llamaban loca!”

Before long, we are both singing together. Mrs. Raney responds with the same crazy look we gave her and walks away.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great topic! I remember moments just like that with my mother and me. And ain't the brain grand to retrieve the perfect song at the perfect moment? Love it!