Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Awesomeness of My Mother

As I've probably mentioned before, I was a tomboy when I was young - always outside climbing trees, exploring the woods, doing gymnastics in the front yard, playing kickball and playing games that involved imaginary giant ants. I had a lot of fun.

Another thing that was fun, on those super hot summer days when the sun was beating down, the sweat was trickling and the cicadas were buzzing in the trees, was playing in the road. But not just for the sake of playing in the road. No! Because in the road there was tar!

Tar makes a fine patch for cracks in asphalt. It also makes a fine diversion on a hot day - when the sun heats up the tar and the air beneath it expands, creating bubbles. There is nothing better than pushing at the side of one of those tar bubbles with your toe until it bursts and scalding hot water spits out the far side. Endless entertainment. Even better if someone happened to be standing on the far side when said squirting occurred. If I concentrate I can still feel the hot water on my feet, smell the tarry smell and feel the sun beating down on my head and back.

Sometimes these bubbles were so exciting that I just had to sit down in the road and check them out more closely. And as is the way with tomboys, sometimes they aren't too careful where they sit. I still remember those yellow shorts - the ones with the big splotch of tar on the leg.

And, either due to my own bad memory, or due to the awesomeness of my mother (I suspect the latter) I only remember my mother cleaning them, but not ripping me up one side and down the other for messing up my nice yellow shorts. She was (and still is) awesome like that. I try to do the same with my kids. After all, who cares if there is a stain on their shorts if said stain came from the simple pleasures of playing hard and honestly and without complaint on a hot summer day.

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