Sunday, July 29, 2007

Miss Mother

Merci stops beside the typing chair where Buddy is sitting motionless, staring at the computer monitor. “Buddy, what are you staring at so intently?”

Deep in his own thoughts, Buddy is startled. “Huh? Oh, I was just reading some of our old journal entries. I sure have changed since I wrote my first column in 2005, haven’t I?” 

Buddy is much taller than when he sat on the same chair to type his first journal entry and now when he sits on the chair he towers over Merci. She scrapes a footstool across the wood floor and then climbs onto it to better view the screen. It also makes her feel less like a little ant sitting next to a large grasshopper.

“Yes, you sure have changed in some ways, but not in others. You were so messy but you sure were cute.”

“Messy? I was never messy. Didn’t I win the Scruffy Award for the bedmaking contest?”

“Yes, you did win. Did you ever find out who else was in the competition?”

“No, Jan never did give me the list of the other contestants, although I made several requests for it. I must have had some tough competition since she didn’t want me to know who lost. She said she didn’t want me to get a swelled head.”

Merci lowers her head to hide a slight smile. Buddy has grown up but he has retained much of his innocence.

“We sure had some good times, didn’t we?” Buddy asks wistfully. “I wish things could have stayed the same. I don’t like the changes.”

“You grew up, Rusty and Samaritan came to live with us. What would you like to change back to the way it was?”

“I’m glad Rusty and Samaritan moved in with us. I like having them here. But we lost Jenny and Miss Mother’s dogs Shorty and Benji, and then we lost Miss Mother. I miss all of them, especially Miss Mother. Jan used to take us down to visit every couple of days and we ran free in her fenced yard. It was nice. Now we don’t have anyone except Jan to love us and we don’t have anyone to go visit or a yard where we can run.” A solitary tear drips down Buddy’s face and falls onto the keyboard. He sighs deeply, climbs off the typing chair and, head low, walks slowly out of the room.

“I know what you mean, Buddy,” Merci says softly to his retreating back. “Jan misses them all too. Some changes are positive and some changes bring tears.”

“Wait!” Buddy hollers from the bedroom. He trots back into the living room, tears forgotten and a wide smile on his face. “I know how to cheer up Jan. We can hold a Miss Mother contest and find her a new Miss Mother.”

“Buddy, first of all, I never have understood why you call Jan’s mother Miss Mother”

Indignantly, Buddy shoots back, “What would you have me call her, Mr. Mother?”

“Oh, in that case, Miss Mother is fine. But holding a contest to find a new one is far out, even for you. You can’t replace Jan’s mother.”

“Oh. Well, it would be nice to have another Miss Mother to visit and make a fuss over us. Are you sure we can’t hold a contest and surprise Jan with a new Miss Mother?”

“I’m sure, Buddy. It’s a nice thought, though. You’ve always had a soft heart.”

Buddy sighs. “Then I guess I’ll just have to go take a nap. Maybe I can use my soft heart for a pillow.” He disappears into the bedroom.

Then his head reappears briefly in the doorway. “Oh, by the way, Merci, in case I forgot to tell you before this, I forgive you for making fun of me when I won the Scruffy Award Contest. I still make the neatest bed in town!”

Merci smiles broadly, knowing full well that he might be all grown up but Buddy still makes the messiest bed in town!

Posted by Merci