By, Wendiann Alfieri
This is a story from childhood, an ode to just how hard my parents worked for us to have a good one
When I was pretty young I loved being outside, like every child
I mean I still do, but as a kid everything was more innocent.
I hadn’t yet discovered the internet I would always be immersed in as such is common pastime like it is in modern today
(Before I would stay up all night and sleep all day.
pre-vampire days is more of an accurate description)
We lived in tight quarters but our yard was so big and spacious and beautiful it was like a park. We would sled in the snow, had a lot of flowers and beauty to see during the spring, fall always brought leaves as heavy and during the summer, running wishing on dandelions as we blew the seeds into the wind, hoping to grant our dreams.
The sun itself that day must’ve been sick of its own heat and was sweating in the middle of June causing humidity
The air thick, and trudging through it made you feel like you were walking through walls
I was around our backyard, my feet bare and walking under the massive trees that were arched over, sheltering me in shadows with a rare occasion of a breeze.
My mom was on the patio, under the umbrella at the weirdly textured table I would make imprints of on my thumbs when bored and waiting for bbq hot dogs.
my energy then was waning, but I stayed outside, wandering towards her. “What are you doing?” I asked
Mom turned quickly and said, “This is really important, wendi, it might take a while, why don’t you go read a book?”
Mom had a look like she was in a twilight zone episode as I walked away
I went to my favorite tree and was reading a book called “Matilda” under it, one of my favorite books from childhood
I wandered back and forth before stretching my back and lying down
I was getting comfortable and embracing the grass as I laid back, vastly looking up
I ran into our house and ran right back out to get more sunscreen spray, I felt my pale skin sizzling.
it was actually cooler outside than in the house where the air conditioning wasn’t working. I looked at mom as i creeped back out
2 hours into her journey and she’s still on hold, still outside
Way way hot, the humidity was even weighing me down
that time of year there were a lot of yellow jacks and bees that were vicious, but never really stung any of us, this day even they were tired
She was highly allergic to bees and beeswax
Even the bees didn’t want to waste energy on this day
mom was under the umbrella under the table still, and asked me to get my sisters dance shoes and the polish for them
She figured she’d get that over with, who knew why she didn’t hang up
I was getting worried
I didn’t ask about it.
I grabbed the polish kit and gave it to her
She was about to start polishing one of my sisters dance shoes for her dance recital. The owner of that studio demanded everyone use a specific kind of shoe polish
She was outside in this heat about to polish shoes outside cause the smell would be too strong if she did it in the house
Sweat pouring down her face
She didn’t care
Her eyebrows are furrowed and flecks of Fire I could see in her eyes as she tried to get this polish job done. I was inside as the smell was bad even if I wasn’t in it’s direct path
Mom is determined
Damn, whatever it was she was on the phone for must’ve been damn important
Her hands gripping the machine like she was trying not to crush it
Hours of music crackling loudly no matter that it wasn’t on speaker
It might as well have been jeopardy’s tune
Trying to pressure mom into just hanging up
Call another day
Whoever she was on the phone with barely spoke to her
Mom isn’t mad
She’s expected this challenge
She looks out into the distance
Now, my mom does what she has to do, whatever it is she needs to do, she gets tasks done.
in that humid heavy air, she still stands
The shoes are on the table
mom kept to polish the shoes, the phone being held on her shoulder by her ear
When a person finally spoke to my mom, a moment of no more holding music and a strange lady’s voice.
Mom was getting ready to sigh with relief
There was just one problem
Her face and throat were swelling
Her eyes bunched up
She was having a allergic reaction
Grandpa insisted to go the ER already, seeing her as he entered the backyard through the gate
At last, she finally finished the call, just in the nick of time
Me and my siblings were scared but she went to the ER
It turns out that the shoe polish was made with beeswax
They gave her a shot and soon she came back home
She smiled but she was tired
As far as she was concerned, her goal was met
The ultimate on-hold phone call
She had patience
She almost risked her own LIFE for this call
just to get tickets for something fun for us to do
....and that is the story of the time mom risked getting life to get tickets for all of us to see the ORIGINAL “ Wiggles”, the OG’s of kids music, in concert
( also, the red wiggle, Murray, gave me a high five and though I’m a grown ass adult now, I will still brag about it. I don’t care how old I am, that was one of the most badass moments of my childhood)