Mothers for sainthood
My Mom was born a southern girl who was wooed by a farmer from the frozen reaches of the Midwest. I never realized her journey was an extraordinary story because she was just my mom. I remember when she would put me and my brother in our bed for a nap, I thought she sat outside the bedroom door and just waited for me to beckon her to my side.
So in the early sixties my Dad stayed to tend the farm and Mom booked a train to Los Angles to visit her parents and she took the two young colts with her. I was four and my brother five. We were 13 months apart and fought for dominance at all angles and opportunities. Especially when out of sight of my domineering father. In order to keep us safe and corralled mom had two harnesses with leashes attached. More than once we found ourselves attached to a clothesline pole so we were still alive when the chores were done.
Walking through the train station full of new experiences and huge looming machines and travelers, we were ready for adventure. My mom, all of 90 lbs. in her heels, dress and fashionable hat was being hauled like a teamster. Every train whistle and every bell set us off pulling like draft horses on our harnesses.
We would whinny and snort and put every ounce to the work. Our handler would yell out, “Rick, Spike, stop it!” We heard, ‘Yaw, get along there, pull you doggies!’ I remember her heels skidding on the concrete. Then we would switch and pull in opposite directions stretching her out like Christ on the cross. I do remember his name being used.
Everyone would complement her on how much spirit we had and what a hand full she had with her wonderful little boys. Once on the train, we threw food at each other over the white linin dining table and tore down the halls whenever we got off the leash. At every stop, Mom would have to recruit some stranger to carry the luggage while we bucked and kicked them in the shins with our hooves.
I don’t remember, but I bet she stayed in bed for two days when she handed us off to my Grandparents who spoiled us rotten. After two weeks of that we got another crack at train robbin’ and ropin’ on the return trip with our new cap guns.
And still she loved us and adored us and didn’t leave us under a bridge with a day’s ration of peanut butter and jelly. She, like all moms, was the best thing in the world.