“Why can’t I go with Lisa and Trudy?”, I begged mom for the third time in twenty minutes. She was cutting up carrots, and celery – and she gave me and my little brother a half a celery stalk for a snack, before adding the rest into the pea mash in the big stew pot simmering on the stove.
“For the last time, you’re too young to go out by yourselves.”
“But their moms are letting them go!”
Mom stopped chopping and eyed me, her lips whiting around the edges.
“Well, they are not your Mom, and your older brothers will take you after dinner, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to go at all.” She wiped her hands on her blue and white-flowered apron before picking up the ham-hock and adding it into the pot. “And, it’s the first year your little brother is going Trick-or-Treating, and you’ll have to stay with him” She turned around starting to chop the onions, and I knew I’d be in trouble if I said another word, but I couldn’t help groaning, and I left the kitchen when I saw her raised eyebrows.
I laid down on the couch in the other room to pout, and listened to the wind blowing leaves against the side of the house, and after a while mom began humming, and I could hear my brother playing with his Lincoln log set on the kitchen floor, the sounds making me sleepy. The celery hadn’t made me any less hungry, but mom would just get irritated again if I started asking if supper was done.
I got up and went into the kitchen anyway, and sat at the rectangular Formica table with the bumpy metal trim I liked to run my fingers along. I didn’t like the kitchen chairs in the summer when my legs stuck to the plastic seat. My brother got his head stuck in between the chair top and seat last summer and mom buttered his ears to get his head back out. The stupid kid tried to do it again but mom warned him that she would just leave him there this time.
I thought that sitting at the table would make supper get done sooner, but instead, it seemed to take longer. I liked the way the windows were steaming up though, and I went to draw a finger picture on the window but mom yelled at me that it would leave grease marks, so I sat back down and laid my face on the cool table-top. Mom told me to get up and get the bread out of the pantry and put it on a plate, and then get the bowls and spoons out.
I didn’t grumble this time because I was so hungry and I knew that meant supper was ready! I even got the butter without being asked.
Mom sat my brother on top of the phone books on his chair, and she told me to get my brothers and sisters for supper. I yelled from the bottom of the stairs, making my mom yell at me from the kitchen to walk upstairs and get them, but they were already stomping down.
We all sat and ate our dinner, my older brothers finishing first, and my sisters close behind. I loved the soup so much I wanted another bowl, and mom said there was just enough for seconds.
I hated having to wait for my little brother to finish, but mom let me go get my costume on while she cleaned up my brother.
After Trick-or-treating, the house still smelled like the pea soup, but I was too full of candy to want any more. Mom made us pour out the rest of our candy to see what we could keep, while I smirked at my secret of already eating several pieces until my stupid brother told her we ate some on the way home – and I had told him he could have some only if he didn’t tell mom when we got home. She told us to go straight to bed, adding that if we were poisoned it served us right for not listening to her, but when my brother burst into tears thinking he was going to die she relented and let us stay up another half-hour.
Through the years, Halloween has held a special memory of my mom’s pea soup, but I’ve yet to have, or make, pea soup as good as hers.
© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.