The 13-year-old neighbor boy is going to take care of Molly, our dog, this weekend while my Mom and I go our respective ways. The boy, J, came over today to get the instructions from Mom on Dog Care 101, which, if you know anything about my mother, was an extensive blow-by-blow of Molly's every waking hour.
But I digress.
The conversation made an interesting turn from, "How often does she poop?" (that would be in reference to Molly, not my Mom) to "So, where is Ben's Grandpa?"
This is where I jump in: "Ben's Grandpa lives in Modesto. My mom and he are no longer married."
My mom adds: "We are divorced. Like Janeen is divorced. Do you remember her husband? The man who drove the fire truck to the house?"
The boy says: "Oh, yes! I remember him! Why isn't he your husband anymore?"
Mom: "He didn't want to be married anymore."
I'm not particularly enjoying this ride down memory lane so I make an excuse to check the laundry and move toward the house. The boy follows and once we're inside, he asks the million dollar question:
"Are you gonna get another husband?"
I stand there, with my mouth hanging open, struggling with how to tell this 13-year-old about countless dates, failed relationships, and the challenges of dating when you have to consider the co-mingling of families. I don't have to come up with an answer immediately because then he hits me with another zinger:
"Are you gonna have any more babies?"
I make another lame excuse about the laundry and then, finally, a normal question comes from the boy:
"Hey, can I use your computer while your gone?
Mom and I shared a good laugh after dinner, imagining the dinner time conversation at the neighbor's home this evening.
And on the subject of interviews, Ben came home from school with a Mother's Day card, which contained a cute little Q & A:
My mom: Janeen.
Thank God he didn't say 'Wicked Witch of the West!' or even worse: "I dunno."
My mom is: Fun!
Never in a million years would I assume that Ben thinks I am fun. Stable, compassionate, loving...yes, yes, yes. I almost always assume that "fun" is the adjective he reserves for his Dad.
My mom is: A good reader.
That I am, Ben. And I hope that you will be, too. You're well on your way and when you write that Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece, remember that it was Mommy who insisted that we read for one full hour each night.
My mom is special because: She does so much stuff with me.
Really? Despite having a busy work schedule that doesn't allow as much time with Ben as I'd like, I'm happy beyond words to know that in his little mind, we actually do a lot of "stuff" together. And maybe, at least for a few days, I can let a little bit of the Mommy guilt go. I'm doing OK. I actually am.