Mom won't forget Freddy's first winter concert..
When my friend Myrtle and I left to walk to school Mom was having trouble with Freddy. Mom supposed that Freddy must have had a little stage-fright, because he'd hardly touched his favourite cereal. And he had made a big fuss when Mom tried to get him to change into his new white shirt and black pants.
When she finally got him and the two younger kids dressed and in the car, the car wouldn't start. Mom had left the lights on and killed the battery.
There was no time to call a taxi, so Mom stuffed all three kids into our big sleigh and ran most of the five blocks to the school. The whole way, Freddy was sobbing that he was going to be late. Randy was sobbing that he was "too squished.". And Little Carla was making more noise than either boy. Mom guessed that she was just plain scared of falling out.
By the time they got to Freddy's kindergarten classroom, the teacher, Mrs. Greenfield, was lining the kids up for one last practice. That's when Freddy noticed that all the boys were wearing red bow ties. Mom had forgotten that Freddy was supposed to wear a red tie with his white shirt.
Instead of lining up with the other kids, Freddy sat down in the middle of the room and refused to take his place with the class. He also started crying about as loud as Carla had been crying in the sleigh.
While Mom was trying to get Freddy to settle down, Carla, without saying one word, peed a great big puddle just in front of the door. While Mom was trying not to panic and frantically looking about for a mop , Randy dropped the box of cookies that Mom was bringing in for the bake sale. Every last cookie fell out, and most of them broke. One even rolled into the puddle
That's when Mrs. Greenfield came to Mom's rescue. She took the red bow that she had in her hair and pinned it to Freddy's shirt. Then she showed him, in the mirror, that it looked just like the other boys' red ties. Next she picked up the broken cookies and said that she would buy them as a Christmas present for her dog. She didn't pick up the cookie that rolled into the pee, though. Mom had already done that. Mom had also wiped up the puddle, with paper towels.
Then Mrs. Greenfield loaned Mom a dry pair of panties and dry tights for Carla. Mrs. Greenfield smiled: "Kindergarten teachers are always prepared for accidents of one kind or ... mostly this kind."
That's when Mom started crying. Mrs. Greenfield knew that they were tears of relief. She gave Mom a quick hug, patted her on the shoulder, and told her to go into the gym and enjoy the concert.
And that's what Mom did. Even Randy and Carla were as good as gold. They didn't spill their Kool Aid or yell out to Freddy when he was on the stage. And Freddy looked so cute. He sang most of the words and even did some of the actions.
I helped Mom put three very tired kids to bed that evening. Then we went into the kitchen. While Mom iced a big chocolate cake she told me all about her day. I don't think she saw me wipe away my tears.
On top of the cake Mom spelled out "My Hero" in red and green M & M's.
Freddie was really proud to carry the cake into Mrs. Greenfield's class next morning. He told his teacher, proudly, "Mom says you saved her life."
I gave Mrs. Greenfield the bag that held the freshly washed panties and tights. The red "bow-tie" was pinned to the top.
Copyright Bill Rollans 1994 All rights reserved.
illustrations by Charlotte Rollans (age 9)
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