Go To Mexico, Amy.

Amy was one of those young women who bolted from her home as soon as she turned eighteen. Alas youth! She also returned home, pregnant, at nineteen. She managed to get back into college, settle down with the father of the child and get married, and shortly after her first son’s first birthday, turned up positive on another pregnancy test. This was back in the day when marriages were supposed to last, and they were supposed to be forever, but the concept was as illusionary back then as it is now, when two people are not in love. Amy got the kids and the house, her former boyfriend got his freedom, and that was the way Amy’s life went for another couple of decades.


I’ve skipped over the last two decades because I don’t know much about what happened. I know that her oldest son borrowed a car when he was sixteen, got arrested for it, and that was the highlight of his entire criminal career. That was enough for him, apparently, and he went on to become a 4.0 student in some college I’ve never heard of in California. He’s married, no kids yet, but this year, he invited the youngest son to come stay with them for the Summer. And this is where I came in. I met Amy at a party the other night, and for the first time since she was a teenager, Amy has a summer to herself.


It was interesting to listen to Amy tell this story. I like the way she speaks with her hands. Amy seems to have her own brand of sign language, the way a lot of women do. Men don’t express themselves manually, no pun intended, the way females do, and I wonder why that might be. Amy is both pleased to have this sort of time to do something she wants to do, and simultaneously, Amy is horrified. For the better part of two decades, Summer has been a time of frenetic activity and camps. Baseball, softball, swimming, stitches, bleeding, and all that goes with having two boys and their friends to look after is now all gone. Amy once took a teenager to the hospital after he jumped off the house, barefooted, and landed on a pickle jar. She was the one who removed a half a broken jar from the wound, and she was the one who bandaged it with a towel. Ms Amy is who they called when they were in trouble from that point on. She’s gotten one or two out of jail for drinking, and she talked a few down from the ledges. With a glass of wine in one hand, and the other speaking in the air, she told these stories as if it were a final review of her motherhood.


Her boyfriend wants to take her to Mexico, not for the sun and beach tourist stuff, but to walk the ancient Mayan ruins. Amy wants to go, but realizes this means a complete surrender to the inevitable. No one told her that last Summer was to be her Last Summer taking care of  the kids. Kids, Amy? Her boyfriend points out that last Summer her youngest and his friends flitted in and out sporadically. They came in long enough to paint the porch, and to mow grass, but by and large they were only passing through. Amy seems angered by this, but she admits that the last two Summers have been more waiting for someone to come home, than having someone there. Amy seems to suddenly realize the truth of things, and she seems very uncomfortable with this epiphany in public.


Go to Mexico, Amy, I tell her. Walk the past lives of people who invented a written language all their own long before our ancestors were thinking about invading the New World. Your sons will miss you for it, they will think you adventurous, and they will want to come and hear you tell your story of it, too. Take lots of photos, Amy, and try some local wine, or what passes for it. Other members of the party encourage Amy to go to Mexico, and her boyfriend who has hoped for this conversation, awaits her transformation.


While I was speaking of the television program I saw that explained the Mayan hieroglyphs Amy listened but I could tell she was thinking of another past culture. It was the ancient kingdom of kids, where the mother took care of the needs of all the subjects, and they loved her fiercely for it. The knights have all gone away, each on a separate quest, and the Queen rules a castle, empty but for memory.


Go to Mexico, Amy, and discover a lost kingdom while losing antoher.



Take Care,


Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 5/16/2008 7:46:17 PM
Yeah, Amy went to Mexico.

vwhitlock   vwhitlock wrote
on 5/16/2008 11:58:01 AM
Motherhood - nobody tells you there is a finish line for that one. Once you start the race, you just keep running until you run out of road. I really hope Amy went to Mexico! Women talk manually - that's an understatement. I think it's something we pick up on as little girls. Maybe a way of getting Daddy's attention? Once we figure out it works then it becomes a subconscious technique that we employ in varying degrees throughout our lives. With that said, it may not be all that subconscious...

seeker561   seeker561 wrote
on 4/23/2008 3:17:26 AM
That summer is not nearly so far off as I would like it to be but I know what I will do when it arrives. I will go fishing.

Mike Firesmith
Special Interest
writing Mike Firesmith
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A woman Begins
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