Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sunday Scribblings... Do I Have To?

This is my first attempt at Sunday Scribblings. I wasn't exactly sure what was expected, but the following story is what came to mind when I read...

Do I Have To

"Do I have to?" The words hung in the air between us. Me, confined to the sofa for another day of pain, and Bobby, 13 and frustrated. "No." I answered, meaning yes, please, can't you help out just this once. Years of giving in, not wanting my only child to suffer. Children should have fun. Isn't that right?

If I were a normal healthy mom, I would be doing the laundry and the cleaning myself. In the back of my mind I knew that I was doing him no good, but I couldn’t bear to see the hurt or the anger. It was easier to give in, to put the smile back on his face. I’d feel better later, and I could do it then.

It isn’t Bobby’s fault that I had that terrible accident. He deserved a mom without a disability; one who could have ridden bikes with him or tossed a ball around. Life had been unfair to him. Not that I thought it had been exactly fair to me, but what is fair anyhow? I knew dozens of people worse off that I was. Who was I to complain?

My attention focused back on Bobby, “No, you don’t have to, but it would mean so much to me if you would try. Just see how much you can accomplish in the next hour, then you can go to Jack’s house for a while.”

"But really? Mom? Do I have to do it now?" he pleaded.

"Yes. You really need to do it now, son."

The eyebrows went up, eyes rolled, but I held my ground. It was like I could hear Dad saying, “Now or never. Do you want to mold him into a man or keep him as your child for the rest of his life?” I thought of my brother. I knew it was time to step up. To require more, not for me, for him!

As he dragged his feet pathetically down the hall to the laundry room, I knew I’d answered his question in the best possible way.


deangelis said...

WOW - awesome first attempt at Sunday Scribblings... you blew the rest of us out of the water!
How true it is on both sides of the question... the parent and the child both struggle for the answer!

I'll be back!!

raymond pert said...

You worked a lot into this short story..the struggle of wanting a kid to have fun, the hardship and something like shame that comes from being disabled, your father, your parental ethics, and your resolve.

It's a pleasure to read. It took me back to moments of this sort when I helped raise my wife's kids. Nothing ever seemed easy for a while there!

Michelle said...

RATS, the deangelis comment above is mine! I was multi-tasking; checking my gmail and commenting on Sunday Scribblings. I realized my comment was left from my email address account, rather than my blogger account! Crud!
So if your interested in reading a flakey blogger's post this week it's:

haha! :D

ratanaong said...

The struggle in bringing out the best for the kid despite mum's difficulty. You've done well in telling a touching story! I love how you told it!

keithsramblings said...

A brilliant debut on SS. As I read it I heard the words 'it's for your own good' ringing in my ears!This was such tender piece. I look forward to reading more of your work.

Donna said...

Morning!! Come by and get your copy of A Beautiful Site Award!!! Also grab a copy of any of the others you see and want!! You deserve them All!!hughugs

danni said...

the quality of mercy --- great underpinning for this moving post!!!

Granny Smith said...

It's a question all mothers face: do I want him to be happy right now or must I harden my heart and think of the character I want him to develop? You have expressed it beautifully in this well-written emotional short story.

Welcome to Sunday Scribblings! I'll be visiting your blog often.

forgetfulone said...

That was an awesome "first try!" I was really drawn in to the characters. I wanted to know them. Thanks for stopping by my blog so I could find yours!

Nita Jo said...

Thanks for all the comments. I've mostly written memoirs of my life for my family. This short story has shadows of people I've known or observed, but is its own story. It was a very good writing exercise for me.

Donna, Thanks for the Beautiful Site Award! I appreciate it so much.

Remiman said...

Nita Jo,
Welcome aboard! It's apparent that you belong here.
Tough love, the dividends are enormous. Faith in the future helps.

nonizamboni said...

Welcome to SS! and what an auspicious start. This was a very affirming piece laced with truth and compassion. '...I knew I'd answered his question in the best possible way.' Bravo!

Daisys Little Cottage said...

Wonderful! I can relate. I single parented my son for 16 years. Made plenty of mistakes but started everyday anew. So many prayers from grandma and papap. My son has remained a wonderful outstanding human 22 years old and I couldnt be more pleased. Single parenting is TUFF!

Nita Jo said...

Wow, thanks to everyone for the nice comments. This story is dear to me as I was raised for a time by a single mom, and then by my grandparents. It comes from so many places inside my heart and my imagination.

DarLy, sounds like you've done great with your son. I have two sons, 21 & 16. They're both very caring people. I'm glad my story rang true for you.