“Hello Mama” he yelled in a loud and clear voice. I was upstairs in my office and looked forward to this afternoon ritual and music to my ears- as cliché as it may be.
“Hello Nana,” I answered dutifully. We were prone to using nicknames for each other. Mama stresses the accent on the second syllable – try it- you might like the way it tumbles across the tongue versus the more staid Mama with the accent on the first syllable – a more lummox like gait across the plain of the tongue.
“How was your day?” He asked before I got a chance to ask him first. I skipped down the stairs to greet my 52” package of wholesomeness.
“It was fine,” I answered. “How was yours?" I asked.
There is such comfort in the regularity and the rhythm of what we so often take for granted in the routine of everyday life. And I am guilty of sometimes forgetting just how wonderful these tidbits can be.
I was expecting him to reply with his usual “It was wonderful...”
So I was thrown a bit when he responded with “Well, it was great but we forgot that it was oral speech day for me. We need to sign this slip for Miss A.”
“We?!” I asked in a rather incredulous voice. “We?!” I repeated.
“Well you know mom, you always help me find a topic and remind me to practice,” said my experienced son of making his mom feel guilty. My son gave me a Cheshire cat grin. When did he get so tall I thought to myself? He was now up to my shoulder. Was I shrinking?
“Uh huh,” I said in a rather ruffled feather voice.“Miss A. was surprised that I forgot to do my presentation; she says I am always so on top of things.”
“You mean “we’ are so on top of things don’t you?" I asked. By this time my son had tossed down the twenty pound hernia producing backpack that lay with its bulging belly on the couch while he was rummaging through the refrigerator for an afternoon snack.
“Do we have any cheese sticks?” He asked grabbing a bottle of water from the top shelf. I went over to my sweaty dog little guy and planted a kiss on his moist cheek red as a cherry tomatoes from his speed drill ride home on his bike.
“Do we have any cheese sticks?” he repeated for my listening pleasure. There it was again - that little two letter imp of a word - a vowel and a consonant – a very rigid first letter coupled with a circular fluid second letter: W-E.
Did you ever imagine that two letters could have such a multitude of meanings? I thought to myself. My son was humming to himself as he plopped down on the couch and picked up the book he had been reading at breakfast, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”
“Don’t forget we need to send back my permission slip for the field trip on Thursday,” my Dear Son – heretofore known as DS reminded me in his 'I am in control of the situation’ voice.
“Yes dear,” I sighed and went in search of a cheese stick in the refrigerator.“WE” was particularly useful when applied to anything remotely related to homework. There are a plethora of examples that come to mind:
1. “Mom, we need to do my spelling definition.”
2. “Mom could we go get a milks shake before swim practice today?”
3. “Mom, could we work on my social studies tonight after dinner?”
The list goes on and on.The word “We” however is anything but regal when the she-monster of the house – aka – me – Mom- tries to finagle a culture enrichment out of the young lad and his dad – heretofore known as DH – as in Dear Husband.
The eyes roll back in the head and mysterious aches and pains suddenly take hold whenever I mention a family outing to the Getty or the Simon Norton or even a fun adventure filled place like the San Diego Wild Animal Park.
Suddenly, the almighty “We” of fame to matching socks and lunches and afternoon snacks and evening vittles is a solo party of U-N-O– a three letter sad word – whether in English – one – or Spanish – uno – and probably a host of other languages the meaning is clear.
The royal “We” has an audience of one.