I sit and watch a black bird fly high into the oak tree, the tree is green covered with leaves, so dense are the leaves that the branches are not visible and the thing, which I am trying to locate, the nest is hidden in the thick foliage. The bird disappears into the tree I change my position on the bench to get a better look at the bird. I am mesmerized by what I see. The bird hovers over the nest looking at the little ones as they cheep for they food am I imagining it or is she really counting her off springs to make sure that all are safe within the nest. The actions of the bird arte similar to the ones a human mother does.
And as I continue my observations, I am taken to my past, I see myself sitting on the breakfast table with by brothers and sisters and my mother hovering over us making sure that all of us were eating properly. And inspecting us to see if there was anything missing trying to be very inconspicuous, she would try to make out how clean we were before we went to school and. Just like a superintendent looking over his men. The breakfast was significant because it indicated the beginning of the day and if by chance one of us did not measure up to her set standards then we had it, although when on one of her inspections she did not say or do anything which indicated her intentions. But if for any reasons there was non-compliance from any of us for whatever reason then we would never hear the end of it. Unlike other mothers, she always made us have a heavy breakfast of eggs and bacon and a glass of juice. This was a routine followed religiously only to be broken on Sundays and on holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. Then we would have hash brown potatoes and sausages in addition to the regular breakfast.
And one of the incident I remember was on one of the thanksgiving, if I can remember correctly it was when I had just turned ten, I remember because I had just gotten a brand new bicycle, and was very proud of it. My younger brother Sam, who had a distressing habit of calling attention to himself, and the rest of us would be dragged into the storm that would rise.
I still remember very clearly on that fateful day, as we sat around the breakfast table having our very special breakfast, which we, I am not sure about the others, but I did look forward to it, he asked for hot chocolate and cookies as it was rather cold. We looked at one another waiting for the ceiling to fall or the floor to give in.
Even though we knew that mother, we always called her mother, never mom or mommy, was not given to theatrics, her fury was not made up of screeches and screams, instead she acted very dignified even when she was giving us one of her scold, which was not very often. She looked at Sam and gave him one of her special looks. If looks could kill, he would have been buried already. Her steel gray eyes would glint and we could feel ourselves withering under her piercing gaze. And the special breakfast was ruined for good, one had to be very resilient which non of us were at that point, to carry on; instead we always disappeared, that was the safest option.
She always made it a point to let us know that what we had was far much better then what others could afford. She had come from a very poor family, where having a proper meal was like having hot chocolate for breakfast! So her desire for the routine was like a safety net which made her think that there was some sort of sanity and that she was trying to make sure that non of us would go hungry like she did for years and years. Our demanding of her for something more was an affront to her feelings, and her life.