Now, what were those flowers for?
|A Forgotten Birthday
Writer's Cramp Entry 03/18/19
Jenni was up early on a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning. She had to take Veronica to cheer practice and Atticus to his back to back soccer games. Afterwards, she needed to pick up Bruce's suits from the cleaners, drop Bear; their Chow, off at the groomer's and buy flowers. For the life of her, she couldn't remember why she needed to get flowers.
Her phone rang; as she got ready to answer, Veronica called out, "Mom! I need my blue cheer uniform, not the red one!"
"Check your closet!" Jenni yelled back and turned back to answer the phone. The caller gave up; the number on the screen looked unfamiliar. "Okay guys, let's go!" she yelled. The family loaded the Escalade and began their busy day. First, she dropped Veronica off at school, then she headed to the soccer fields with Atticus.
Jenni sat in her portable lawn chair, cheering her son on as he scored the first goal of the game. She looked over and saw Betty-Lynn walking toward her, holding a clipboard in her hand. They made eye contact.
"Hey Jenn? Did you forget that you were supposed to work concessions today?"
"Oh no! That was today? Atti is going to be heartbroken if I don't cheer him on. Can I do it next week, please?"
"You said that last week. There is no one else who can sub for you. You signed up in good faith--"
"Okay, okay, I'm coming," interrupted Jenni as she got up and folded her chair, then walked quickly to the concession stand. When she got there, a frantic Mary-Christine was swamped taking orders and preparing food.
"I'm so sorry, Mary-Chris. I forgot."
"You weren't the only one. Vicki Keaton came down with food poisoning and Betty-Lynn's out socializing. She actually forgot to schedule four parents to work concessions on the double header day."
"Figures," Jenni replied and began roasting the hot dogs. Eventually, they got caught up; by then, it was time to go. Jenni received a text from Veronica telling her she caught a ride with Melissa. She walked across the field over to where Atticus' team was and noticed they were all wearing medals and posing for a picture. Atticus had a big trophy he'd won.
"Mom! Did you see me? I won the MVP trophy this season!"
"That's great, congratulations! High five, buddy!"
He promptly high fived her. "But did you see me?" he asked.
"I saw the first goal you scored, very good! I'm so proud of you! C'mon, we have to go."
"But Mom, the team is going to Dom's Pizzeria and Gelato to celebrate! Can I go, please?"
"Hey, Jenni, we can take him if you're too busy. I can even drop him off at your place," offered Dean.
"Ah, thanks, Dean; you're a lifesaver!" she reached into her wallet to get money. He placed his hand on hers.
"I got this. It's not every day we have an undefeated season."
"Thanks, I owe you!" Jenni got into her car and headed to the dry cleaners; she picked up Bruce's suits and one of her evening gowns. She would need that for the gala fundraiser for the children's museum next week. Her phone rang.
"Hey, babe, where've you been?"
"Everywhere. Atti got MVP and they're celebrating at Dom's."
"That's great! I'll have to do something special for him. Don't forget we have the thing tonight."
"My boss's award ceremony. I'm giving the introduction. Don't tell me you forgot."
"Umm, no, not at all! It's at seven, right?"
"Six thirty. You're supposed to meet me at the club with my tux at six."
"Okay, yeah; got it."
"Love you, too." Jenni groaned and dropped her head a little; nearly sideswiping a Camaro in the adjacent lane. Even if a day were longer than twenty-four hours, she still would not have enough time to do all the things she needed to get done. She got home, loaded Bear into the car and headed to the groomer's. As she drove, she passed the charming little restaurant that served mostly chicken salad. It was her mother's favorite place to eat. Suddenly, Jenni remembered why she needed the flowers: today was her mother's sixty-first birthday today and they were supposed to meet there for lunch! Her phone rang once again with the unfamiliar number. This time, she answered.
"Jennifer, I've been trying to call you all morning! I wanted to let you know that I couldn't make it to lunch today because I jumped out of an airplane!"
"YOU DID WHAT?!"
"Yeah, your crazy mama jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. And let me tell ya, there's nothing that makes you feel more alive than that! I would have sent pictures but, I haven't learned how to send text messages yet on this thing. I just got it last night. Maybe Roni or Atti can show me how. I'm sorry I stood you up, but I did try to reach you. I figured with your busy life and all, you would have forgotten. I hope you're not too mad at me."
"No, Mama; I'm not mad. Can we meet at Chicken Salad Diva at four?"
"I would like that. I'm going to have a nap; I'll see you later. Love you, dear girl."
"I love you, too Mama."
Finally, Jenni dropped Bear off for his appointment and from there she went on to Zuzu's Petals to purchase a bouquet of her mother's favorite calla lilies.