Mothers Diary
Becky was furious with me because I did not bring home fancy May baskets from my shopping tour up town Friday.
I brought her lots of candy and some paper cups, but this was not what she had in mind. She wanted those fancy frilly baskets with handles that cost money.
"How do you think I'm going to feel," she asked, "taking around these plain old paper cups when everyone else has pretty ones?"
She wasn't happy. And pretty soon neither was I. But in spite of pressure, I had no intention of buying fancy May baskets - cruel as I seemed.
"Fix them up with handles and paper, if you like," I told her.
"In my day we made our May baskets from scratch. We never dreamed of buying May baskets or Valentines or anything else. We saved stuff all year, and made them!" I added, virtuously.

Well, the next thing I knew, the dining room table was a mess of bows and paper cups and cardboard spools of ribbons, candy and scotch tape and Becky was furiously at work transforming the paper cups to glorious May baskets.
And if some of the baskets looked decidedly Christmasy, it was because a good share of the bows and ribbons were red, taken from the large box we save from Christmas and birthdays.
But the glittery lavender ribbon from my Easter lily, and the white and green bows looked fine.

Becky discovered that the cardboard spools divested of ribbon made unusual baskets, too, especially covered with white tissue paper, sprinkled with sequins and decorated with leaves and butterflies from the florist shop.
She had extorted fifty cents from me for the leaves and butterflies, so the baskets cost me money after all. But I did not dare say anything in the unusual flurry of creativeness.

I did not dare say anything about the condition of the dining room, either, since I was the one who started it all.
But I didn't much care. I was hibernating on the living room davenport with a sneezing, snorting, dripping head cold, and my corner did not look much better then hers, surrounded as I was by cleansing tissues, coffee cups, papers, magazines and books.

I did get up occasionally to totter to the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom for aspirin, water, more coffee and a despairing glimpse in the mirror of my red, raw nose and bleary swollen eyes. I do not very often have a cold - but when I do!!

So Becky was more of less on her own with her creative flights of fancy. I was surprised and pleased to see some evidence of taste in color combinations and an eye for design - which I had always supposed she had none of.
Her art work is usually slap dash, and she is often ready for school in a yellow sweater, a red polka dot skirt, a pink headband and egg on her face - which is not my notion of what the well dressed nine year old should wear.

I should be grateful, I suppose. The time will come, as I know very well, when it will not be possible to start for school at all if just the right blouse has not yet been ironed.
Truth to tell - I like Becky, even when she is storming at me because I did not buy frilly May baskets, or when she departs for church with a rip in her slip ("What's the difference?" she says airily, "If no one can see it!")
And I watch Martha dressing up in hose, and brushing and re-brushing her hair, and I eye Dale as he polished and re-polishes his shoes, and he tells me that, of course, he can't wear those trousers to school - he wore them yesterday.
And I take comfort that Becky is still a scatterbrained little tomboy. She will grow up soon enough.

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Mothers Diary
All Friday morning, I was busy dusting, and supervising the astronaut space flight so when the phone rang shortly after one o'clock, it took a while to get back to earth.
"Would you like a ride?" asked Lorraine, and I couldn't think of a thing to say. My mind was busy trying to recall where I was supposed to want a ride to - and the blank pause became so long that Lorraine finally added "to the Mennonite church! You want to go, don’t you?"
"Oh, yes - yes, of course," I sang out airily. The May Fellowship program, and I had completely forgotten it. I thought I covered up rather nicely though. After all, do you confess to the United Church Women president that you have forgotten a service?
So we made arrangements for her to stop at the house shortly after one-thirty which was exactly twenty minutes away.
I did some flying around and sailed out to the car when it stopped, with great aplomb.
Then I spoiled everything.
"I had forgotten this," I told Lorraine briskly. "I completely forgot it and I can't thank you enough for calling and reminding me."
I think she suspected anyway!

Becky is somewhat annoyed with the space program.
"I don't think it's any of our business what's out in space," she told me. "How do we know that God wants us messing around out there?"
Well - I certainly don't know who she had been listening to, but I figured she ought to have the other side of the story.
"How do we know He doesn't want us to?" I countered.
"What do they need to go in space for?" she asked sulkily, "Isn't earth good enough?"
"You know, Becky," I said, "They said all those things when Columbus wanted to sail to the west - and when people wanted to explore as far as Iowa when they were comfortable on the east coast.
Men always want to know more about the world and they have to reach out and explore. Now it's to see what the moon and the planets are like."
Becky was unconvinced.
"Just that much more to study and learn," she said disconsolately. "Have to learn all about the moon now. Wish we were back in the good old days of 2 and 2 are 4."

Reminds me of the grief of our older children when they were studying civics and a government official died, or an administration changed in the middle of the course.
"New names to learn," they would moan.

There are always problems - but we have new ones at our house - in our basement - baby chicks.
When Becky brought them home I did some heavy carrying on - but relented finally.
"And why did you?" asked my husband sternly.
It was Becky's tears and her anguished wails that did it.
"I have never had a live pet," she stormed. "All the other kids did - a dog and cats and chickens. But I was hardly born or not old enough to appreciate them. I want something alive."

And she had a point. So I gave in before she got to her perennial grievance that she doesn't even have a baby brother or sister.
She just glowers unforgivingly and without comprehension when I try to explain that not everybody in the world can have a baby brother or sister.
So at least we don't have to go into that again.
But baby chicks again? Will farmers accept chicks after they have outgrown their baby ways?

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