Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day, Gene.

The boys were in the kitchen early today, preparing my Mother's Day surprise.  I sat in the bedroom listening while they tried their father's patience.  David was attempting to explain how to crack an egg without getting it all over their clothes and the floor.  Neither brother seems to know how to perform this feat of culinary wizardry just yet without casualties.  To individuals with tremendous restraint (like Dave), there is precision to just about everything.  But who needs methodology when you're making an omelette?  I hate science when I'm hungry.
"I can do it, Dad.," said one of them.
"Yes, I believe you," replied David.  "But you have that egg by its throat.  This is not going to end well.  Just let me show you one more time."
"No.  It's okay.  Really.  I know how."  Smash.  "Dang it."
How one of them managed to crack an egg down the front of my husband's shirt and into his shoes, I can only guess.  I didn't see it happen.  All I know is amidst the chaos, there was no yelling.  This was the nicest part of the whole breakfast-in-bed tribute.
At 9:40, the house phone rings.  It is Gene Dall.  Mostly, he checks in during the evening when dinner is over and he's back in his room for the night.  It's unlike him to call in the morning.  He's generally very focused on his pancakes and then a brisk nap before lunch.

"Hey there, Geno." I start us off.
"Yes, hello.  Is this the New York City Police Department?" he asks.  His voice sounds formal and concerned.  For a moment, it's unclear whether or not he's fooling around.  Customarily, I'm the one who initiates the cop jokes.  He just plays along with what's familiar.

"I need the Police Department," he repeats his request.
"This is your kid," I say to him.
"Really?" He is confused.
"Why?  What's the matter?" I question him.
"It's just that I'm not sure if I was supposed to come in for work today.  I don't want anybody waiting on me to show up."
Shit.  It dawns on me that he's quite serious.
"I don't think you need to worry, pal."  I tell him.  "It's Sunday.  That's usually your day off."
"Oh, that's good.  Because I can't remember if I need to be there."
"Nah, you're okay," I reply, matter-of-factly.
There's a brief pause in our somewhat tense exchange.

"So, what's new over there?" I move the conversation along, hoping he isn't too rattled.
"Nothing, really.  Same ol' horseshit," he replies.  He is friendly again.  Everything is all right.
"You got anything else you wanna say to me?" I ask him.
"No.  I don't think so."

"Don't you realize what today is?" I inquire.
"Now I do.  It's Sunday."  He is very smart all of a sudden.
"It's Mother's Day!" I shout into the phone.
"You don't say."  And then, he is quiet.

"Happy Mother's Day, Gene."
"Thank you," he says.
"You're welcome, Dad."

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