I’m sorry, mom!

Posted on May 10, 2014


A few days ago, a woman in an online community of which I am a part lost her five year old son in a caravan fire. It’s a horrible, horrifying, tragic loss. It made national news in her country–none of which I will post because she’s made it clear that the news coverage has NOT been appreciated.

This tragedy brought back a childhood memory. My family lived on a farm where my dad worked as a mechanic. There was an old one-bedroom trailer on the property, sitting on a trail in between the manager’s house and ours. It had been used as a residence for migrant farmhands before a bigger, nicer trailer had been put on the property up the hill a ways. 

The manager’s kids and I often used this old trailer as a playhouse–until one day when, somehow, they got the propane stove to work. We decided to cook some potatoes (potatoes being readily available because it was a farm in Idaho). We cut the potatoes up, and used an old pan to cook them over the stove. The boys had even procured salt and pepper. Somehow or other, during this process I got salt in my eye. This led to me crying, and one of the boys fetching a grownup for help. Help came (I think it was my mom), and in short order we were all in A World Of Hurt for having messed with the propane in the trailer. I don’t think we were ever allowed to play there again.

My five year old self did not grok why we got in So Much Trouble for getting a little salt in my eye.

My adult self, pondering this memory and my online friend’s tragic loss, Gets It.

Thanks, mom. Sorry for terrifying you. Happy Mother’s Day!


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