Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Wet Sacrifice

I requested omelettes for dinner. Chup's seasoned omelettes, fried in his favorite pan and cooked almost to dark, flaky on the outside and soft in the middle.

"I will do it," said Chup "but we are out of ham and cheddar cheese."

So I volunteered to venture out in the downpour, through the leaf-littered soggy streets and over to the market.

But before I could sneak out into the dark, stormy night a little boy yelled, "WAIT MOM!"

I looked at Chup, "I was hoping to get out of here before he saw me."

The Chief appeared by my side, "I go with you."

And with that he marched over to his red push motorcycle in the Green Room. Two days ago he discovered a plastic medieval lancer's helmet in our random dress-up pile and with the use of his impressive imagination it has become his motorcycle helmet, just like Daddy's. He doesn't get on his bike with out it.

As he was adjusting the ill-fitting helmet on his round head I decided I'd break two hearts if I left him behind.

"You can come with me," I said as I reached for his shoes, "but we are going to walk."

Which was fine by him apparently--he gingerly placed the helmet back on to the seat of his bike and quickly went to retrieve his flashlight--a pumpkin orange piece of glowing plastic left over from the bygone Halloween holiday.

"Ready, Mom?" he asked shining the weak light into my face.

Coats. Shoes. Chup found us his travel umbrella, a mini thing perfect for a one person job (or a one-and-a-half person job). We were off.

It was pouring. I could see the flow from the street lights. Cars were sloshing their tires up and down the road. People were running to their destinations, joggers were battling against the windy current and students with backpacks were shielding their heads from the merciless rain. I tried to center myself over The Chief so the umbrella's little coverage kept us both out of the wet.

For his part, The Chief led the way with a steady stream of orange light. His little hoodie hiding an earnest face.

He pressed the button when we wanted to cross the street. And when the light decided to change from red to green, he safely led me on to the busy intersection.

"Go, Mom."

Once inside the market we walked around getting our goods. I balanced ham and cheese in one arm as The Chief repeatedly filled my other arm with his selections. Fruit Roll-Ups, Fritos, Lifesavers. Every time I'd say, "Oh that looks good!" and toss it back on the shelf when he was off looking for the next thing. Except the Lifesavers, because they wouldn't add too much poundage to the load to carry home.

We found Cactus Coolers, Daddy's favorite, so we picked up a box.

I ran into a neighbor I recently met for the first time and said hello. She looked at me like I was a specimen at the zoo she'd never seen before. Her nostrils flared and she turned her eyes quickly away. Her body language was doing the communication for her. But she sorta heaved out a "hi" in my direction.

It was awesomely uncomfortable. I would've reintroduced myself but I made the choice to resurrect that conversation at another time, maybe when I was in better context.

The cashier flirted with The Chief. He totally took the bait and showed off his climbing skills, wrangling the metal dividers with his quick legs.

"Look, Mom!" (But his L is a W--Wook, Mom!)

Was it me he really wanted to impress? I'd like to think, yes.

On the way home The Chief insisted on holding the umbrella.

"Light, Mom," (Wight, Mom) he ordered flashlight duty to me.

At his request I tried walking with a hunched disposition so that I could fit under the umbrella coverage he was so politely offering. A few steps into it I gave up and presented my head to the watery atmosphere. The Chief found himself a new world under his rayon canopy and he lagged behind. His little body was shrouded in the wing span and he looked like a giant, black jelly fish walking down the street.

I was soggy by the time we turned down our street. My short hair wrapped it's tendrils around my cheeks and stuck to my lips. Water invaded my shoes and seeped through to my toes. I was cold and chilled, but my son was happy and dry.

Just an hour before our rainy adventure I had read a talk by Jeffery R. Holland about parents of sacrifice. I thought about my dad at Lake Powell, his skin pink from the sun and body tired from taking care of a dozen kids, a campsite, a boat and the wind. He reminded me of an embattled Indiana Jones. As a child, I always felt especially tender towards my dad when I'd see him physically sacrifice for our needs, but mostly our wants.

Sacrifice is the whole job description of parenthood, isn't? But not the bitter kind so much, the noble kind. The kind that enlarges your desire to do more. It felt satisfying to walk home with my head in the rain so The Chief could discover the wonder of holding an umbrella--a safe, dry cocoon in the middle of a storm--a thrilling and romantic experience.

When we arrived home the kitchen was warm. Chup had already started heating up potatoes in the frying pan. We presented him the Cactus Coolers and I unwrapped a couple Lifesavers for The Chief. I let my wet coat hang up to dry on the coat rack and left my shoes on the floor next to the heating vent.

Chup cooked up a meal worthy of two, wet vagabonds. I ate mine with avocado and strawberry jam. The Chief peeled a part his ham from the egg and ate it in small chunks. We all washed it down with Cactus Coolers.

Sacrifice really does bring forth blessings of heaven, and the most delicious dinner.

Are you reading Kimberly Calder Simmon's Pie blog?

A post by Chup (it's clean)

I am Courtney Kendrick and I have pink rainboots.
c jane on facebook
c jane on twitter