My mother pampered my father before I arrived.
He in turn kept the toilet seat lid down after its use. That is L-O-V-E in my book. I came to expect that as normal, but the boys in my house – all of them – never did that for me.
For instance, even while the toilet seat continued to stay up, I indulged my boys. When I made lasagna for my family, one fourth was created for our baby who liked his meal as though he was ordering a meat-lovers pizza – nothing but pasta, sauce and meat. The more meat the better - anything a carnivore would eat, just hold the onions and mushrooms. My portion was meatless but made with oodles of onions, mushrooms, and cheese. HUBBY and older brother liked everything in theirs – but whereas HUBBY liked even amounts of all the ingredients, THE HEIR liked less onions and mushrooms in his quarter section. One lasagna constructed in fourths. It was trouble doing that but was sprinkled with a dash of love.
OB (pronounced OBIE), is also the recipient of lots of my attention. I know dog treats are for discipline/training. But I give mine away for cuteness. Walking in the house after being gone for a while, OB is all over me. And because he is so cute, I give him a treat. We call him our tater-tot-dog because he looks like one. Our vet said he needs to go on a diet.
Mother pampered me like that, too. Sometimes while running errands, she brought home girlish goodies. Spoiling me like this for no reason, people around town made comments to her about it whereas she responded, “It’s just showing lots of love.” The only disappointments I remember when she came home without any presents were the best requests… a baby brother or sister. Hadn’t she gone to visit someone in the hospital where those babies were lined up behind the window just for the picking? Didn’t you check them out like library books? Each time she left to see someone there I ALWAYS pleaded, “Please bring home a baby brother or sister.” She consistently answered, “I’ll try.” Of course, she’d come through the door empty-handed.
When my parents retired, my mother really wanted to travel. Daddy had already been places with his professional baseball career and being on a destroyer during World War II. But mother had not and now they had the time and the money.
Daddy told us to go without him. He felt like he had seen enough. We did. Our first excursion was to Hawaii and San Francisco in 1977. Leaving daddy alone for 12 days, she made sure he was taken care of by planning and cooking 12 different dinners to enjoy while we were gone. Although the countertop microwave oven was introduced in 1967, we didn’t have one.
Not only did my mother cook the dinners, she wrapped them in aluminum foil labeled for each day of the week we were gone, and placed the dozen in the freezer so all daddy had to do was take one out, lay it on the counter to thaw, and warm it up for that night’s dinner. With only the Dairy Queen available for fast food, this solved her worry about what he would do for his meals while we were gone. She knew he could fend for himself at lunch. Here was another example of spoiling – I mean love.
When we returned, she found all that energy of creating all those meals just for him was wasted. They had not been touched and were still in the freezer. Friends and family swooped in to also look after daddy and took him out every day for lunch and dinner. My daddy, my own boys, my dog, oh, and me… just tiny examples of being spoiled rotten.
Lee St. John, a retired Coweta County high school English teacher, is the author of five humorous books and two audio books. She can be reached at email@example.com