“I’m done with this,” Maurice yelled as he marched into the house.
Melody and Bianca were doing a terrible job at stifling their laughter.
“Are you ok, honey?”
“It’s not funny, mom!”
That made it worse. Their bodies were convulsing from holding it in.
“Go get some aspirin from the cabinet,” Bianca said. “You might need it later.” She couldn’t hold it anymore.
They waited until they heard the door close before they let out all the pinned up laughter.
“We’re terrible! Do you think he’s really ok?” she asked her mother.
“He’s not limping. He’s fine. His pride needs life support though.”
They began laughing again.
“I still can’t believe that thing fit in that space,” Melody said.
“It barely fits. You can’t really do good slides over there, but I think the kids enjoy almost crashing into the fence.”
“Hopefully that is the last thing you’re getting. I don’t think this yard can hold anymore stuff!”
Bianca waved her index finger in Melody’s face. “There is no such thing as too much when it comes to grandchildren.”
Melody snorted. The conversation paused for a moment as they all enjoyed the warm rays beaming down on their bodies.
“This is nice,” Melody said.
“It is. I like seeing you smile.”
“Smiling feels good.” A thought came to her that made her face scrunch up.
“What’s the matter?”
“There’s a bottle of juice in the fridge. I should have brought it.”
“Oh? Since when do you keep juice in the fridge?” Bianca looked concerned.
“It’s not mine. I mean, it is, but…” Her mother was looking at her with that one eyebrow arched. She sighed and cleaned up the story. “Don brought it by one night. I’ve been saving it for something nice.”
“Don Lothario? That gigolo?”
She snickered at her mother’s word choice. “He’s Riv’s friend, mom. A friend of the family.” She corrected herself.
“I don’t like this, Mel. I don’t like it one bit.”
“He’s just being supportive, mom.”
“Oh? Is that what he’s calling it? You think he’s going to River’s hotel room delivering juice to him too?”
She actually never considered how much or if Don was being a friend to River too. “It’s ok, mom. It’s not like I’m gonna–
“I’m not concerned about you, baby. Don’t let snakes in your house. They bite.”
She knew what her mother was saying, and it validated the feelings she had the last time he came over. But part of her didn’t want to believe that she was being preyed on. It was a disgusting thought. However, she didn’t want it or any other negative thoughts to ruin her fun, happy day, so she changed the subject. “I’ve been thinking about jogging again.”
Bianca smiled and nodded. “I’m glad to hear it.” She wanted to know how her daughter arrived at that decision, but she didn’t want to pry. She had done enough of that for one day.
“I realized something for the first time the other week.”
Her mother was quietly anxious for the story.
“I can’t handle Harmony the same way I handle the boys. Raising girls is so much different from raising boys.”
Bianca nodded. She didn’t have any sons, but she experienced this on a small level with her grandsons.
“I’m not saying the boys don’t care about how I’m feeling day-to-day, but I don’t think it affects them like it affects her. She watches me. I’ve been so sad and down on myself, and now she has these bullies in school… I don’t think I’ve been helpful much.”
Bianca heard regret in her tone. “I’m sure you’re helping more than you think.”
“I’m not! How am I supposed to make her feel good about herself if I don’t feel good about myself? If I don’t take my own advice, I’m lying to her!”
The old woman couldn’t help but nod. Her daughter spoke the truth. “I see. Well…I’m glad you realized that. ‘Ah ha’ moments like that always turn out well if you follow through.”
“I want to get her involved too. Maybe we can find something we can do together.”
“That would be fun for her,” she said and hoisted herself up.
“Where are you going?”
“It’s almost dinner time, and the kids didn’t have lunch. Steaks ok?”
“Sure. Thanks, mom.”
She loved her mother’s steak. It had been a long time since the tender, juicy beef had been in her mouth. There was always a good meal waiting for them when they visited. In the meantime, she slid back into the pool and swam a few laps. Within a few minutes, Harmony reappeared in her swimsuit and jumped in.
She swam to her mother. “Hi, mommy!”
“Hello, pumpkin. Having fun?”
“Yup! I like swimming.”
“What if we went swimming sometime…just the two of us?”
“Oooooh! That would be fuuuuun!”