After my mom died, I usually got a call from my sister on Mother’s Day just to chit chat and check in to see how I was doing. Since this is my first Mother’s Day without either of them, I wanted to jot down a little memory of the three of us…(and then hibernate for the rest of the weekend because I’m not ready for pictures from everybody’s Mothers’ Day brunches).
Brief History for the new folks and those who don’t know me. My sister’s mom died when she was three so my dad raised her as a single father for the most part. He was dating my mom off and on for the better part of a decade when I came along unexpectedly. After I was born, the two of them still waited to marry each other until I was in first grade, but by then my sister was in college. I never actually lived under the same roof with my mom, dad, and sister at the same time, and because of that, most of my Family Memories with my sister were with both of my parents, not just one or the other, since she was either home for summer break or a quick visit, or we had planned a whole vacation to visit her in Florida where she lived.
My sister was home visiting one summer and she had a boyfriend back in Florida that she’d met in school. I was the quintessential nosey little brother and I used to snoop like crazy. I read her diary, made copies of her CDs, tried on her shoes, etc. My snooping is the reason my first “chapter book” was A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines and not something like My Teacher Flunked the Planet or Goosebumps because I was going through her shit and saw a book that looked interesting.
Note to parents: Don’t let your young kids go through your older kids’ stuff. No seven year old really needs to be reading about race relations in 1940s Louisiana. And I’m sure that little tidbit about myself is another piece of the puzzle for you guys.
Anyway, I was a night owl (still am) and I would regularly get up in the middle of the night, make a snack, and sneak into the family room to watch cable (mostly Skinemax, I can admit that now). One night, I heard my sister talking to someone in her room, and since I knew there wasn’t an extra person in there, I figured she was on the phone. I went to the family room with my snack – Ritz crackers, JIF peanut butter, and sweet tea, which is still my go-to midnight nosh – and picked up the extension so I could eavesdrop.
Now, lemme tell you something about my mother. She is literally the lightest sleeper I have ever met in my life. A cat could fart next door and she would be wide awake from a dead sleep. I got really good at sneaking around and making no noise, but sometimes my mom would catch me in the middle of the night watching TV. However, she was never able to catch me watching Skinemax because one of the floorboards in the hallway squeaks, and since I watched the TV on mute (obviously) I could hear her long before she was close to the room. Then I would just flip to Headline News or something and put the subtitles on.
I was not listening for my mom on this night because I was listening to my sister’s conversation instead. I didn’t hear her sneak right up on me and LOUDLY ask “Boy what are you doing?” I dropped the phone and mentally prepared myself for this inevitable spanking all at the same time, while my sister was barreling down the hallway because of course she heard all of that on her end.
I was already crying before they could start yelling tbh. I was not trynna get beat at midnight by TWO angry Black women and I’m sure I saw my life flash before my eyes. The lecture that followed was a mixture of privacy, being nosey, being bad, sneaking, and lying, but I didn’t catch a beatdown, praise God.
Fast forward to the next morning. I don’t remember where my dad and sister were, but I remember I was sitting at the bar while my mom made breakfast. She was talking about something I don’t remember and then just casually slid into the conversation, “So what was your sister talking about on the phone last night?”
C’MON KWEEN! YES MAMA!
My momma was gossip queen first and foremost and I was her favorite Chatty Cathy so she knew I would spill if I had any tea. Unfortunately I didn’t, but now y’all know where I get that from. My momma.
I just wanted to throw this out there, another little anecdote for my future kids who won’t get to meet my mom or my sister but wonder where I got All Of This from. I like to picture them kiki’ing about how messy my life is but also lo-key stanning for me because I’m the fiercest person they knew.
I’ll be hibernating tomorrow, but I’ll go ahead and throw my Happy Mother’s Day out there, to my mom & sister, and all y’all’s too. Drink an extra mimosa for me. I’ll be watching Spike Lee’s filmography and trying to pinpoint where he went wrong.