Mother What?

| October 09, 2001

When my son asked me to spend Mother’s Day with him, I imagined cooking his favorite dinner and getting tickets for a concert. If I were lucky, he would bring me roses.

Peter had other plans. He invited me to spend two weeks on the road.

As I climbed into the cab, I noticed his bed was neatly made. I wasn’t sure my heart could stand the shock.

“You’ll be more comfortable in this,” Peter said and tossed me a T-shirt. I stepped behind the curtain and changed out of my new red silk blouse I’d bought for the trip. I pulled on the T-shirt, and I had to admit it did feel better.

“Is there some place I can hang my blouse?” I asked.

“Sure, give it to me,” Peter said. He took the blouse, rolled it into a wrinkled knot the size of a baseball and tossed it onto a top shelf behind a blue flannel shirt. I never saw it again.

After hauling a load of tires from Tulsa to Little Rock, we pulled off at a truck stop. A waitress said she liked my shirt.

“It’s a gift from my son,” I bragged.

“Well, I admire you for being brave enough to wear it,” she said with a smile.

“It’s just a white T-shirt,” I said.

“Did you read it before you put it on?” she snickered.

I dashed into the ladies room and yanked off the shirt. On the back was a picture of a rig and red letters that said, “I’m a Bad Mother Trucker!”

“Just wait until I get my hands on that kid!” I whispered through gritted teeth. There was nothing I could do but put the shirt back on and join Peter in the café.

He’d ordered for us, and the chubby waitress was setting down the plates. I was glad to see Peter eat a good, hot meal. I worried about him living on fast food while on the road. Peter ate his meat and potatoes and left his vegetables – just like when he was a kid.

The waitress returned.

“You folks care for anything else?” she asked and glared at Peter. “Don’t you even think about ordering dessert until you eat your vegetables.”

I smiled at her and blinked back a tear. She’d done something I’d never been able to do: get Peter to clean his plate. As long as there were waitresses like this one, I wouldn’t have to worry about Peter eating right.

We were carrying 14,000 pounds of auto parts to Ohio when I started getting sleepy.

“I’ll just splash some water on my face, and I’ll wake right up,” I said.

I reached for the plastic bottle in the cooler next to me and poured some liquid into my hand. I rubbed my face and smoothed back my hair.

A few minutes later I couldn’t see.

“I’m blind!” I yelled.

Peter pulled off the road.

“What’s wrong? Are you having a stroke or something? Should I call for help?” he said as he tried to pry open my sealed eyelids.

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