Keeping Our Vacation Villa Clean.
Why My Mother Is My Muse.
The reason why I love telling stories is because of my mother. I grew up in the '60s and the '70s. My mother helped my siblings and me through a lot of life troubles while growing up in Queens, NY. My mother would tell us stories about what she and others around her went through, it usually helped us not go through the same problems.
The following story is not about her many stories that helped one or all of us out from different times in our life, this is a little memory about cleaning -- believe it or not -- I keep thinking about now that I have a young child.
When my siblings and I were children my mother really did everything for us. There were four of us in total. Two boys and two girls. I am the oldest. Girl, boy, girl, boy.
Every night, for school the next day, my mother laid out our clothes, did my sister and my hair, -- Yikes! She could not braid hair!!! -- she swept through the whole apartment, and then placed our cereal bowls turned down for us on our kitchen table for each of us so we could fix our cereal ourselves while she showered for work. This made each morning -- as we prepared for school -- a lot easier for her, because the only thing she would have to do before showering is make up all five beds within our home.
Usually, our whole apartment would be cleaned before we left out each day. Once in a while my mother did not have enough time to make our beds, because she had to leave out when we did -- 7:15 AM -- to get to work each morning on time.
Every afternoon, about forty minutes after my siblings and I returned home from school my mother would arrive home from work. If the beds were unmade then she would make them up and then prepare our dinner before my father arrived home from work.
One chilly afternoon, my younger sister's and baby brother's young friends -- who happened to be brother and sister themselves -- came to our apartment to visit them.
What was cooking I do not remember. I only remember that my mother's food always smelled great and tasted better.
While dinner was cooking my two younger siblings were playing in our bedroom while my -- one year -- younger brother and I did our homework. I had just walked into our room and saw my mother placing our clean clothes from the laundry basket into our dresser draws. Suddenly my sister's young friend said, "Oo, your food smells good."
Not looking the little girl's way, but with a polite smile on her face while placing our clothes in each of our drawers my mother replied, "Thank you."
The kid seemed very interested in what my mother was doing, while my younger siblings and her little brother continued to play with each other, and she said, "Wow, you do a lot of cleaning, but they keep their beds messy. We don't mess up the beds when my mother make it up for us."
"And you should not. It's a lot of work we do."
"Yeah, We keep our room clean."
My mother laughed and said, "You should show them that."
I refused to look at my mother, as she walked past me, because I had a feeling she was annoyed with us, but she never said a word.
The next morning my mother woke my siblings and me up around 5:00 AM. That was forty-five minutes before she usually woke us up. She pulled the beds out from the walls and said,
"You and your brother will be making these beds from now on."
"Okay." We said in sleepy unison.
"I will get you two up each day until you learn how to do it correctly."
"Okay mommy." We replied again in unison.
It took us four days to get it correct. Why four? Well, it took us three days to realize we should be practicing how to make our beds in the afternoon before we went out to play. Oh, and it was my mother's suggestion. Yeah, we were slow.
My story ideas are usually dealing with young woman raising children. The children are not always their own. Most of my stories come from cleaning. My mother taught us how to clean, and how to appreciate others who cleaned. Which means do not mess up without fixing it back up. You never know who may drop by.
When my sister and I vacationed with our children, this and last year, we kept our Villa cleaned. I, of course, enlisted the help of my son, and my young nieces and nephew to do helpful minor things.
This was great because there was always someone dropping by ....
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