Knowing that I may lose whatever respect you may have developed for me – that is respect you’re developing for me, right? – it is possible that the time has come to expand on the note I scribbled in my notebook a month ago.
“My son’s got gas.”
So small, isn’t it? A four-word sentence with more gravity, more depth, than one little sentence has a right to.
It’s not like there isn’t a warning beforehand. There’s a look on his face that I’ve come to recognize, immediately followed by a two-word precursor to a potentially life-changing event. Like the imperious command of “Scratch” – my cue to run my nails along his back until I am dismissed – there is also a far more subtle “Hey, Mom” – followed by an almost Mona-Lisa-like smile – that makes me run out of the room.
Why would a loving mother, a woman interested in what comes after “hey…” no matter who says it, go skittering out of a room as fast as possible after such a statement?
Because like I said, my son’s got gas.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not regular gas; not “whoops! sorry about that” gas; but hair-frying, clothes-wrinkling, room-clearing gas.
I hold myself responsible. Was it something I ate during pregnancy? Should I have not eaten only Mexican food, potatoes drenched in Tabasco, those little canned oranges and, so help me God, canned sardines?
Perhaps it has something to do with my weather-predicting hair? Could the ability to stenchify whole rooms be The Boy’s equivalent of my ability to detect humidity?
I’ve lost your respect, haven’t I?