When Mother Was Kind
I know I've mentioned some rough experiences so far, but they are important because of the way they shaped my creativity. Things were not always bad with my mother. When she was kind and in a lively mood, we had a lot of fun together. The air was not tense, we could laugh freely and honestly, when my mother was in a good mood, she was very pleasant to be around.
One thing that my mother loved was pranks. When she had a minute to get out of her own head, she'd think of fun ways to play pranks on us. One evening we were out for a walk later at night. I believe we had walked a mile or two down the road to our neighbors the Kearns'. Walking back at night was a little scary. It was pitch black, the coyotes would often be yipping in the distance and well, when you live in the middle of nowhere your imagination can quickly run wild with scary visions of what might be hiding in the bushes.
On that night, my mother decided to walk a little faster than us to beat us to the house. She said she had to pee so she needed to walk a bit faster. Beating us back to the house by a pretty good stretch, she decided she wanted to scare us and hid herself down in the bushes in front of our house. While she waited, her mind began to fill with scary thoughts and images of what might be hiding in the bushes with her. She got more and more tense with those thoughts as we got closer and closer to the house. She was not going to move though. She had picked the perfect spot to scare us and she was determined to wait. She also really did have to use the restroom and was hoping we would hurry it up. The anticipation was killing her.
As we finally neared the house, just as we were passing those bushes, Mother jumped straight up so only her upper half came into view and let out the most terrifying roar and scream she could muster. All of us stumbled back screaming and scattering, some of us tripped and fell the the ground. Poor mom scared herself so bad in the process she accidentally wet her pants but was not about to let us know she had. As soon as we all realized what was going on, we all burst out laughing, scared half out of our wits. We just laughed and laughed. Mom was laughing uncontrollably still halfway in the bush.
We giggled and joked as we walked to the front door. Mom was lingering behind slowly making her way out of the bush. "You coming, mom?" we shouted. "I'll be there in just a minute." she replied. She hid her mishap well. I didn't learn until years later why she stayed back and took so long getting out of that bush.
She taught me a lot of great things when it came to having fun. When mom was in a good place, it was fun. There was always a reason to laugh, be weird, and joke around when she wasn't stuck in the darkness of her mind.