We laughed when Mom sprayed Raid bug spray under her arms by mistake. She flapped around the bathroom like a frantic chicken while my brothers and I watched the show, clicking the cameras of our memories.
We would have such fun in the coming years, retelling the story of “scatter-brained old Mom” whenever we got together.
Mom smiled indulgently at our snorts and chuckles. Her eyes bounced along our faces in turn, lifting her eyebrows sternly.
“Wait…” she intoned. Wait for what? We didn’t know and we didn’t care. It was just funny.
We howled when Mom preheated the oven to 325 degrees for three hours, forgetting to put the stew inside. Supper that night was bologna sandwiches with giggles as thick as ketchup on top.
Mom let us have our fun; a wry smile curled her patient lips. “Just wait…” she repeated.
We were too busy making jokes to pay attention. “Poor ol’ Mom — she’s losing it. Must be tough to get old!” We shook our heads in mock sympathy and elbowed each other’s ribs.
Getting ready for church one Sunday, Mom checked every room in the house for her purse. “It has to be here somewhere.” Her voice echoed frantically from various rooms as she searched.
We sat on the couch with our hands clamped across our freshly-washed faces to smother the hilarity that rose like geysers in our throats. She didn’t feel the purse banging against her side. It hung from her shoulder, swaying and flopping as she charged through the house.
“We know…just wait!” Our chorus met her embarrassed glare, and we fled outside to wait for our ride to Sunday School.
Well, the years have flown and we’ve all grown older. Mom enjoys stadium seating in Heaven, watching each of her smart-alecky kids lose the invincibility of youth.
Time has rusted my once shiny, steel-trap mind. Now my thoughts spin like a dog with an itch on his back, twirling and resting and panting for air.
I’ll admit it — I’ve looked for my glasses a few times, only finding them when I caught a glance of my face in the mirror.
My microwave has held heated rolls hostage many times, keeping them out of sight and mind until the end of the meal.
Papers I laid down crawl away while my back it turned; I arm my voice with false bravado when I swear that ‘they were right here just a minute ago…’
As the years pass, I find myself remembering things I don’t need to know (Sally Field was the Flying Nun. A giraffe’s tongue is black.). But the important things? Like which child owns which first name? Forget it.
This morning I sprayed my carefully curled helmet of hair with a generous mist from a can of Glade air freshener. I glanced toward the open door, and relief filled my odor-protected face. Nobody saw what I had done…
I felt my mother’s triumphant grin of vindication waft among the clouds of deodorant around my head.
“TOLD YA!!” her angelic voice whispered, with just a hint of devilish glee thrown in for good measure.