Wednesday, June 10, 2009

the sneak

My parents were the type of people who had dinner parties. Not often. Maybe twice a year or so. But boy did my mother know how to host.

The entire day would be spent cooking and cleaning. Then she'd pour herself into some skinny jeans and ask our advice on which shoes to wear. We were girls. We had opinions on this type of thing.

We children were sequestered to the upstairs rooms. We were given strict rules on behavior and a sampling of the nights delicacies arranged just like the larger platters on the dinning room table.

There were fresh cut vegetables with clam dip, warm rolls, Chinese chicken wings and shrimp cocktail. Almost always there were cinnamon rolls dripping with heavy almond icing. It was toothsome delight and almost enough to keep me upstairs the entire night.
But not quite.

It was the laughter that always got me. My mother's laughter. My father chuckled often at his children's antics, but my mother, well to make her laugh was a profound feat of kidhood. I guess things just aren't as funny when you are on clean up duty.

From the top of the stairs, peeking through the rails, I could see half the dining room table. I could see the back of my father's salt and pepper head. I could see my mother seated closest to the kitchen for serving ease. I could see one, maybe two dinner guests. And so I perched, with my night gown drawn down over my knees, and watched my mother laugh, and shooed away my older, more obedient sister, when she came to chastise me.

Today I crawled quietly, ever so quietly, into Amelie's room. I got up close to the crib and peeked through the rails. I watched her eyes move rapidly under her lids, her fingers opened and closed. I watched her rosy little pout curl up into a smile and then a laugh. I was eight all over again, wanting so desperately to be the source of amusement to the most important girl in my life.

I'll give her one more month to give me a bonafide laugh and then I'm breaking out the clown nose and kazoo. Who's in charge here anyway?

As for my mother, well, she is pretty quick to laugh these days. She thinks it's hilarious to watch me clean up a blow out or scrape the dog poop from between Thom's toes.


brooke said...

oh your childhood sounds so fancy...i like these stories...

and all your posts about your gorgeous girl have got me feverish for a baby...c may be in for it as soon as he steps off that dust full plane!

Anonymous said...

Seriously, you need to consider writing a book of some sorts. You have a gift with words.

Apryl said...

I completely concur!!! a book would be lovely!