Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Good Mother

Saturday, the Matron was overcome with the urge to decorate for the upcoming holiday (Halloween - not Christmas). Now, this is not Standard Matronly Operating Procedure. Indeed, her sainted husband is the one who arranges furniture and selects drapes; even her idea of decorating for Christmas is opening the door when John brings in the tree.

But Saturday, the Matron took a look at the neighbor's yard: stark witches, ghosts, orange lights, tombstones, and spiders! She just knew there were apples to bob right on their front porch, too -- knew it without even landing an eye. One look at her own barren porch spoke volumes: her children were being deprived of their God-Buddha-Oprah-Allah given RIGHT to garish Halloween fare all over the front yard.

So she put on her best June Cleaver apron.

Matron: "Kids! Let's go into the basement and see what we can find for free Halloween fun!"

Merrick: "Awe you okay, mama?"

Scarlett: "Shouldn't we go to Target instead?"

Merrick: (honestly said this) "Okay, but do you WANT to do this or will you get cwabby?"

Frightened already (who needs Halloween when you've got the Matron!) into the basement they dove and much to the children's amazement, discovered much that could be eventually somehow with a little imagination construed as 'fun.' Forgotten treasures were unearthed -- some orange signage, lights, a witch's hat. Channeling mothers throughout time, the Matron (who actually does not even own a sewing needle because safety pins are more decorative) even created a few dozens ghosts to hang from a tree -- white plastic garbage bags scrunched into figures to hang by some string.

She was pretty darn pleased with herself. Once again, she had saved her children.

After they trotted off, she returned to the basement. Rumbling through boxes, she came across the only dolls that her oldest ever received, a beautiful Raggedy Ann and Andy given to him by his grandmother when he was just a few months old.

Tossed back a life time, the dolls made the dear Matron smile and return to those early days of babies and toddlers. Indeed, holding that Raggedy pair, her entire life as a mother flashed before her eyes.

Now, she's not sure what happened next. She really didn't think anything at all, but suddenly was overcome with a certainty -- an instinct, a drive, a compulsion -- that these dolls would make the PERFECT Halloween prop. She turned her artistic hand to the task and found it oddly, well, cathartic.

And so hanging from the front porch . . . Raggedy Ann

And her sidekick, Andy

For some strange, subterranean reason, the Matron felt that these macabre Halloween delights were . . . perfect.

She couldn't wait to show them to the children.

As Scarlett ran out the door to a neighbor's the Matron inquired: how do you like my creations?


Matron: "Really? I think they look super terrific!"

Scarlett, poised on the edge of womanhood, took a good, long look at her mother and said: "No, it's creepy because YOU, a mom, did it."

Just wait, darlin' . . . she's got some plans about what to stuff with that turkey.


smalltownme said...

It's so much fun when we surprise, shock, and stupefy our children!

Anonymous said...

Shock and awe--glad you've still got it in you!

trash said...

Hahaha...shock and awe indeed.

Anonymous said...

And there you were...making a creative effort. I applaud you because you added the perfect nostalgic but ghoulish tone to Halloween. And you could have been marking papers....

Anonymous said...

Definitely creepy. Can we trick-or-treat at your house?

Jenny said...

You are my new idol!! The Raggedys! When my daughter was young she some how (ask her father) saw an episode of Charlie's Angels which involved the angels all tied up. For MONTHS thereafter Leah would bind and blindfold her dolls and bears. Very embarrassing. I finally had to tell her she couldn't take them places.
And no needles because pins are more decorative - My idol times two!