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Before The Mom left on her Mexican vacation, she explained to me over Skype (and in an additional email, lest I forget) that an article she’d written for the Globe and Mail would be appearing whilst she was away. I was instructed to promote said article on Facebook, and just generally big it up to all and sundry.

The article she’d written was about the morning our family spent at the local department store, having our family portrait done, with, of course, L’il Sis’ dog The Pig in tow. Because why would you not take the dog for a family portrait?

Anyhow, as morning dawned here in the UK, I dutifully checked my calendar to remind myself of what I was meant to be doing that day. The Mom is well-versed in the notion that for her children, if it’s not in the computer’s calendar, it is not happening. Literally stands no chance of taking place. Because if the computer doesn’t know, then nobody does. Listen, we have busy lives and are not, as a group, good with details like dates. Actually, dates are probably our Achilles’ heel, collectively. We might remember there was a thing we were supposed to do, but getting it done on the correct date, or remembering what that date may have been? Only a computer is up to this task.

But thankfully, I’d marked the big date on my calendar, and when I stared at the screen, in the bleary pre-dawn of yet another monsoon-like sky, I saw that the article was appearing, and so clicked over to the paper’s website, and added a link to my Facebook page. And then I thought, Ah, job well done. Well done me. The Mom will be pleased.

A few hours later, when it was a bleary pre-dawn back home, I got an email from L’il Sis: ” The article! The article was in the paper yesterday!! I am driving around town like a hobo looking for yesterday’s papers.”

Immediately, I thought of how I could help. Being in a different country made this difficult, but no matter. L’il Sis was busting a gut, and therefore it behooved me to make a similar attempt. I looked up the paper’s website, and scoured it, searching for a way to buy an old copy. Did they have such a thing? No.

I emailed L’il Sis back.

Her reply was to say that she might be able to find some neighbours who had an old copy because it hadn’t yet been recycling day. Meantime, she continued her search.

Many emails were exchanged, and the tone was increasingly dire. I imagined L’il Sis, driving around town, with The Pig riding shotgun, lurching into anything that even halfway resembled a shop where papers were sold, dashing into the store only to shout, Yesterday’s Globe? before leaving empty-handed. I thought of them, trudging through the snow I imagined was back home, the bleak cold, the utter misery of such a chore, especially with all the construction which means none of the roads take you anywhere near where you want to go.

It was at this point that I knew two things: one, The Mom is very lucky to have us as children, and two, that L’il Sis would forever hold the Golden Child of Holidays award.

I suppose for most people, the telling of this story would be something you might not do, preferring instead to just present the paper as though everything had gone to plan. However, those people do not have as the Head of their families, The Mom, who likes nothing better than an absurd tale of adventure.

Which is what she got, along with the paper and her article. Though, hilariously, the thing The Mom likes most about the article is the artwork that accompanied it. The Mom forgets that the editors at the paper don’t actually know her, and aren’t actively trying to make her feel old when they include pictures that feature a granny or other older woman to illustrate her articles which normally feature such characters. She takes it as a personal affront, as though somehow they have looked at her Facebook pictures and rendered her as she truly is.

Anyhow, the upshot of all of this is something I believe The Pig may have always known: which is that she is Queen. Because much as The Mom was thrilled to hear how dedicated L’il Sis was in her search for the papers, what she was really chuffed about was the picture of The Pig.

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