My Mom, the Seer

wine glass holdersI always swore that my mom had a crystal ball.

To the chagrin of my comrades growing up, I would choose to voice this belief as they were leading me on some poorly-advised expedition into some ominous locale.

This could have been one of many of our adventurous utopias: the pond, the farm, the woods, the deep woods or, if we were feeling particularly adventurous, the deep deep woods.

The conversation usually went like this:

“Let’s go to the deep woods and poke that wasp hive with a stick.”

“I can’t.”


“I’ll get in trouble.”

“Nobody’s going to know you big (enter juvenile barb here).”

“My mom will.”


“She has a crystal ball.”

You can fill in the blanks on what happened after that. Needless to say, there was no end to the mockery that ensued. Of course in this case my mom wouldn’t need a crystal ball if she was driving me to the ER to get 100 wasp stings treated.

I wasn’t just a kid terrified of his mom’s wrath, though that could be epic. She had a way of knowing when we did bad things. Every curse was overheard, every fight at school known about before I stepped into the house, every 6-pack of beer found. She is and has always been a seer.

It was insanely frustrating.

But now I am an old man who is no longer is afraid of getting in trouble with his mommy (lies). Therefore, I have come to realize the positive side of this peculiar mom ability. One of the things I missed most this Christmas was opening a gift from my mom, squinting, and saying, “Um…what is this?” This would be countered by a detailed description of the thing and why I will undoubtedly need it at some point in the future.

“That is a sweater de-piller.”

Quizzical look.

“You know when your sweaters get those little balls on them? Well, you use this to shave them off.” Flash forward four months to my flat: “I really need a thing to zap these little balls off of my sweater,” and then the light bulb going on above my head. Day saved. These gifts allow my siblings and I to be prepared heroes. Last week:

Lee: “Man, I need a pair of earphones.”

Me: “Hm…”

Lee: “And it’s freezing outside!”

Cue. I nonchalantly hand him a pair of earmuff earphones that I just happen to have in a nearby drawer. Day saved. I have rescued old women in my neighborhood during ice storms with my slip on shoe ice spikes. I have saved the day with bags of stew (just add water), phone cleaners, comb sanitizers, no-clean garlic presses, and shoe caddies.

My sister will no doubt be the prepared hero at her yearly camping trip when she pulls out her latest Christmas gift: a full set of camping wine glass (and bottle) holders. My siblings and I never appreciated our mom’s ability to see into the future until she complemented it with her ability to give unusual gifts. There is virtually no unusual event that we aren’t prepared for.

Now, if she would just gift me that damn crystal ball.

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