Baby Boomer Babbling-er-Musings

I'm from the baby boomer generation. I have a mop of white hair, courtesy of my gene pool. And a botox-free face that sports frown lines in the forehead and around the eyes. Love handles instead of a waistline. Can't say I'm exactly crazy about any of these old age indicators but I accept them with grace. And now I've lived long enough now that I ponder on a lot of things, new and old.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Don’t Mess With Mama

In 1959 my parents bought their first home on a short little street in West Rome.  There were lots of kids around for me and my little brother to play with and we made friends fast.  Mama and Daddy soon made friends with everyone on the street so I have some great childhood memories of our neighbors at backyard barbecues and watermelon cuttings. 

About two years after moving there, things changed when our next-door neighbors moved away and then rented their home to a new family.  This family made no attempt to fit in with the rest of us, ignoring all our attempts at friendliness.  The two little boys were brats with “potty” mouths and they continually picked fights with the rest of the kids in the neighborhood.  Soon the mother of the brat-boys began joining in our childish skirmishes.  She would stand at the doorway and actually “fuss” with us kids, acting like a kid herself!   

When Mama would hear the squabbles, she would come outside to see if she could work with the boys’ mother solve the problems.  As soon as Mama set foot outside our door, the boys’ mother would then retreat inside her house.  This frustrated Mama to no end and soon she began to admonish us to not play on that side of our house and to ignore the boys and their mother.  But that would be simply too boring for kids, right?  So we were always sneaking over near their property line, just waiting for a “fuss fight” to start.  

On one particular day, the “brat boys” took a water hose and sprayed it over into our yard, wetting four of us kids with water.  They told us that their Mama had instructed them to do it and sure enough, she was standing at the door grinning in approval.  When my Daddy came home during his lunch hour that day, the mother of the brat-boys came rushing outside and began telling my Daddy that he needed to “do something” about his kids.  Daddy was trying to smooth things over when Mama walked out our front door and it was obvious she was mad.  Uh-oh.

Mama confronted her immediately.  “I have tried to come out and solve this problem with you countless times.  Every time I do, you run in your house and hide.  But when my husband comes home, you think you can rush out and tell him about it instead of me?”  The woman denied hiding inside her house so Mama said, “That’s not true.”  “Are you calling me a liar?” was the woman's response.  Mama looked her squarely in the eye and said, “Yes.  If that is your side of the story, then yes, I guess I am calling you a liar.” 

At that point, the brat-boys' mother made a bad decision.  She stepped forward with one arm up in the air as if to strike Mama.  Mama also took a step forward and grabbed the woman’s upraised wrist, effectively stopping the swing.  The would-be assailant assessed the situation for a few moments and must have decided she didn’t like the look in Mama’s eye or the vise-like grip on her wrist.  As the woman began to lower her arm, Mama let go of her wrist.  They stared at each other coldly for a moment before the brat-boys' mother turned and stalked back into her house, hiding out once again. 

At lunch our parents reinforced what we had already been told countless times: do not engage in any conversation with the boys or their mother. At the end of the discussion about the would-be fight, Daddy told us, “Kids, I hope you know that no one messes with your Mama.”  Those words quickly became a mantra in our home and having witnessed our sweet-natured Mama show courage in the face of potential violence only reinforced that factNo one messes with Mama.

Within a couple of weeks, the brat-boys and their parents moved out of the neighborhood.  On the weekend following their departure, the neighbors spilled outside into our backyard.  We ate grilled hotdogs and drank RC Colas and then split watermelons for dessert.  It was a celebration of sorts, I suppose, because now things were back to normal in the neighborhood. 

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I’ve also been reminiscing, pondering, and musing on these topics:

One my early dates with the hubby
My first lesson on biscuit making
The lost art of letter writing
Cups for hot mochas.Say Good Night Gracie.
My first visit to the library with my Mama
Driving Mama over the Edge
It’s a Little Off the Wall
Crushing on The Professor
The Avocado Tree
From Baby Food Jars to Peanut Butter Jars

Christmas Memories
Theory of Pancake Relativity
Betcha Can't Pop Just One

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