For the past two weeks, I have been bombarded with an avalanche of questions.
“What is your favorite candy?”
“Really? You don’t remember? And besides, do you have some for me? Is that why you’re asking?”
No, there were no Smarties.
“What’s your favorite color?”
This is always a tough one… because I never know how to respond. Color needs context. When my oldest was a first grader, I told him how much I loved to wear black. The next “flower” he made for me at school was black. I try to never answer that one… and say something about “all the colors of the rainbow.”
Over the next few days the questions jumped to tea, and then towards, “what time do you wake up?”
Then it dawned on me. It’s Mother’s Day this weekend. Like boys trying to be the first one to score a touchdown goal, they are literally falling all over themselves to be the “one” who will surprise me with the thing I loved the most.
My husband tells me the biggest fight is over the “tea.” Who’s going to make it and who’s serving it to me… in bed. Then, another one, who accepts the loss, thinks he’ll “one-up” the other brother by saying, “But I know which one is their favorite.”
Then, they asked him if they could order Jumbo-Sized Smarties… from Amazon. “You’re going to flip out, dad,” they said. “They’re $24, because you have to buy them in bulk.”
I think I could really throw them if I told them about the old-fashioned soda fountain, inside of the big-time JCPenny story on Main Street. I was small, so the second thing to greet my senses when I walked in was the chekered brown and tan floor. The first thing to hit me was the smell: a combination of ice cream, caramel, cheeseburgers, new clothes and roasted peanuts. This was heaven. My aunt used to take me there, and it was then and there that I learned it was not “OK” to eat gum found on the bar stools while we sat at the counter.
We sat at the counter and waited for the store-made “Zagnuts.” Remeber those? Roasted peanuts. The man behind the counter would scoop them out of the bin into a paper bag and sent us on our way. The bag was warm from the candy, and soon the bag held grease stains. My aunt had her own bag of Zagnuts, so I didn’t have to share with her. Then, we zipped away in her car. Later, I learned that my aunt was diabetic. Did she need that candy, or was she cheating?
Those warm Zagnuts (not the kind you find in the wrapper at the grocery store) are my favorite. But, I don’t want to overly stress the boys. They’d hunt down a shop that would custom make Zagnuts for me, and serve them to me warm. They quest to be the first one to supply me with a warm Zagnut would create too much competition and strife. I don’t think one exists.
I’m always amazed by their innocence in the weeks and days leading up to Christmas, birthdays and Mother’s Day. The boys never seem to be “missing” for extended periods of times (while they’re busy wrapping, inventing verses and rhymes, and shopping) nor do I notice the “mess” of pulled out wrapping paper and ribbons that appear on the “morning.” Their “wrapping station location” must be guarded 24 x 7 — because I have yet to find the spot. I am humbled… I always thought I never everything they were up to.
I think it was Warren Buffet who said, “We enjoy the process far more than the proceeds.”