Whether we loved her or merely tolerated her, we all had a mother sometimes against our own better judgment we heard her without listening and went ahead and did what we wanted to do. But mothers don't hold grudges they just love us anyway, at least that is what I have been fortunate enough to experience.
Like many of today's mothers, my mother did not have an easy life. She worked far too hard and did without way too much to see that we were taken care of. She would sing us songs about frogs, roosters, big black dogs, and the hole in the bottom of the sea, and the stories she would tell. Her stories were mesmerizing and she would laugh as she told them. A favorite subject of hers was a little boy who lived near her as she was growing up, Roy Douglas! We would sit with hands on knees looking up and listening to every word. She would begin
Now Roy Douglas was not a bad child, he was just precocious, and had the bad luck of being an only child to an absentee father and a mother who worked far too hard and too late into the day.
If one were to go by the house in the summer they might hear his Mama whining as she begged Roy Douglas to untie her, or see the cat run frantically from beneath the porch and to the nearest rain puddle to soak his smoldering tail from Roy Douglas's attempt to see if cat hair smelled when it caught fire.
You see Roy Douglas spent a lot of time thinking and pondering on such things as how long his little beagle could stay under water before coming up for air, or how many match sticks could fit between the toes of the hamster living in the wire cage in his room. Roy Douglas was just curious about the strangest of things.
One day when Roy Douglas was being especially curious, and bored to boot, he happened upon two shaggy looking men sitting near a campfire in the woods behind his house. He crept quietly toward the camp and when he was sure he was close enough he knelt down behind one of the large oak trees and watched and listened to the men talk.
"What ya say, Verne, I think that bank could be taken without no problem at all."
"No Rufus, I don't want no sheriff coming after me, I ain't going near that bank nor that town. I got enough trouble to handle without asking for more."
"Listen Verne, all we need is a lookout. Somebody to just stand by and whistle when they see the sheriff coming. We can get in there and out before anybody sees us; I done checked it out myself. All we need is a lookout."
"OK, Rufus, but, where are we going to get a lookout?"
Roy Douglas couldn't believe what he was hearing, and he was dancing with excitement. He had seen the movie Bonnie and Clyde just two weeks earlier. He could be the lookout for these two bums, he knew it. His mind was racing. He imagined himself standing outside the bank, leaning against the light pole chewing on a blade of grass and watching the people. Nobody would think anything about it either, because he often went into town without his mama knowing. He took a deep breath and jumped from behind the tree, tripped on a tree root and fell spread-eagle at the feet of Rufus.
"Well, well, what do we have here?" Rufus asked grabbing Roy Douglas by his shirt collar in one hand and the seat of his pants in the other.
"I'll do it!" Roy Douglas yelled. "I'll be your lookout. I will be just like CW Moss in Bonnie and Clyde. I can whistle, and I know how to play it like nothing is going on. I've been practicing ever since I saw that movie, and well, I don't even like ice cream. I can do it, I tell you."
Rufus put Roy Douglas down, took off his cap, spat into the fire and shook his head. "Well, Verne, I guess we got ourselves a lookout."
And that is how Roy Douglas broke his Mama's heart and ended up spending the next four years in the Juvenile Detention Center.
Of course, although she didn't want to say it out loud, there was relief in and around the house at last. For instance, Mama didn't have to worry about being tied to the rocking chair ever again. The cat was safe with still most of its hair left, and the hamster went happily to hamster heaven with all toes intact and without matches. But the Beagle, he still hated water.
So, to all of the mothers of sons such as Roy Douglas, may God bless you; and to the rest of those lucky enough to have had the pleasure of mothering, have a happy day! After all, the second Sunday in May is yours.
Have a great day.
Vicki Diane Westling is a Dunkirk resident whose story of Roy Douglas is but one short story in the soon to be released Ramblings, by Vicki Diane Westling.