“WEEEEEEEEEE! You’ll be just like that little pig on the commercial, Mom!”
For months my mother had tormented me with the prospect of zip-lining through the Jamaican jungle with her: “Just try it; you’ll like it!” However, the thought of zipping through the air with what my mom claimed would be the greatest of ease didn’t do a thing for me. I did, however, take the liberty of making certain her life insurance premiums were current.
“Weeeee! Weeeee! Weeeeeeeee! Mom, what happened to your sense of adventure? What happened to the freedom of being suspended hundred of feet in the air — just you and that cable? What happened to the fun you’d planned to have? Weeeee?”
“Weeeee, my ass! Uh-uh! No way!”
“But, Mom …”
“I was looking forward to flying through the trees; that sounded like fun. And I didn’t mind the two-hour hike to get there. Hell, I can do that walking on my hands! But I’m glad that woman at the front desk warned me about the big ass bugs in the jungle! They didn’t say anything on the website about the damn bugs! I don’t do bugs! I’ll bet they have snakes, too — and probably some big ass rats!”
And I understood. This woman — my fearless, six-foot tall, long-liberated, you-don’t need-a damn-man-to-do-anything-for-you mom — is the same woman who, years ago, we found dancing atop the kitchen table and shrieking at a terrified two-inch field mouse who’d found its way into our home.
“They should tell the truth in their advertising! If there’ll be bugs, they need to say so — right up front! This zip-lining shit is dead.”
“Well, now we have an entire day free, Mom. What do you want to do instead? Maybe I can book us into the spa?”
Inside, I chuckled at the tame suggestion we both knew she’d pretend not to hear. I’d prepared myself for a day of videotaping my 75-going-on-16-year-old mom as she ditched her broom and flew through the trees on a cable instead. I held my breath as I waited to see what adventure she’d substitute.
“Well, you enjoyed the nudie beach yesterday. Let’s go see what’s hanging out over there!”