If my mom was happy on a Saturday morning, she would sometimes take my brother, my sister, and I to a drive-in movie.
One Saturday I decided to be extra good.
When she came out of the bedroom tying her robe, she yawned and blinked her eyes at the orange juice I had poured for her. I made her toast with strawberry jam spread to each corner and set the 3 boxes of cereal in front of her. If she didn’t care to eat it, she could always look at the back of the boxes as she ate.
Next I went outside to pull the weeds from her flower garden and mow the lawn. This job was less dull because as I pushed the mower over the shaggy lawn, I could see it looked tidier.
My little brother and sister watched from the window. Their faces were stuffed with cereal, a third helping. I made a face at them when they asked me how come I was working.
Rick pointed to a part of the lawn. “You missed some over there.” I ignored him and kept my attention on the grass.
I swept the front steps, took out the garbage, cleaned the lint filter of the dryer, hosed off the patio, tied a bundle of newspapers, and put away toys. Finally, seeing that almost all work was done and the sun was not too high, started waxing the car.
Rick came out to help. Together we waxed the chrome parts of the car. Then we started waxing the paint.
Unfortunately, we used up the entire bottle of wax on half the car. There wasn’t enough to finish. We decided that half is better than none and went outside for lunch.
After lunch, we went back outside.
Rick and I nearly jumped. The waxed side was foggy white. We took a rag and began to polish vigourously and nearly in tears—but the fog wouldn’t come off. I blamed Rick and he blamed me. Now, not only would we NOT go to the movies, but Mom would surely snap off a tree branch and chase us around the yard.
Mom came out and looked at us with aproned hips. Finally, she spoke:
“You boys worked so hard.”
She turned on the garden hose and washed the car.
That night, we did go to the drive-in. I tried to stay awake. I kept a wad of homemade popcorn in my cheek and laughed at the comedy film, which starred my favorite actor. I rubbed my watery eyes. I laughed and looked up at my mom. I promised myself I would remember that scene...
...and not to work so hard next Saturday.
20 minutes into the movie, I fell asleep with my hand in the popcorn.