The only bad thing about pulling these freshly prepared meals out of my freezer is that they make me miss my old neighbor, M. She loves to cook. I can't count how many times she showed up on my porch with a covered dish.
Not only is M a great cook, she has a heart of gold. Our friendship probably never should have blossomed considering my kid took a shit on her front yard soon after she moved in.
Let me set the scene for you. It was a summer night. I was sitting on my back porch reading and sipping a glass of wine when my three kids and two of their friends come running outside.
"Mom, M is at the door and she wants to talk to you."
It was almost 9 o'clock so I found it odd that she was ringing my bell. Since her family had moved into the neighborhood, we had spoken a few times but mostly just the neighborly "hi, how's it going?" kind of talk. I immediately knew my kids had done something wrong.
"Why would M want to talk to me?"
"OK, Mom", J confessed. "We had a can of Dr. Pepper and shook it up and then threw it in the street right when M and R's car was pulling in to their driveway. I think she is mad because Dr. Pepper got on their car."
Oh, well that didn't sound too bad. I made my way to the front of the house and stepped out on the porch to talk to her.
"Hi", I said to M. "J just told me what happened. I am so sorry."
"Oh", was her surprised response. "He told you what he did?"
"Yes, just now. I don't know what he was thinking." Of course I am thinking we are talking about Dr. Pepper and she thinks we are talking about shit so we go back and forth for a little while with her questions getting more intense and my answers sounding more and more lame.
Did he say why he did it? (Ummm, no I think they were just being stupid.)
Is he mad at my kids for some reason? (No, not that I know of.)
Has he done this type of thing before? (Well no, but it isn't really that big of a deal is it?)
Finally, she asked, "What exactly did J tell you he did?"
At this point in the conversation, I became aware of her husband, R, standing guard over what I am about to find out is J's turd.
"The Dr. Pepper can..." And then it hit me. This conversation wasn't about an exploding can of pop. "Wait, what did he REALLY do?"
So she told me. And I wanted to crawl in a hole and die.
"Oh my...what?...oh lord...I don't even know what to say...he took a shit in your yard? M, I am so sorry! Oh my gosh...this is unbelievable...I mean holy fuck...he shit in your yard?"
I couldn't comprehend that my sweet little angle would do something so foul.
I called J out to the porch and of course he tried to lie, but unfortunately for him, M's mother had watched him do the dirty deed from the window.
I made him pick up the poop with the dog's pooper scooper and then get the watering can and wash the grass, all the while racking my brain for possible reasons why my kid could be so fucked up. Was I a terrible mom? Did I not pay enough attention to him? Does he need counseling? Do I need counseling? Am I ever going to be able to look this woman in the eye again?
A couple of days later, I was checking the mail when M walked outside and invited me over to have a drink. Oh good, I thought, she's not mad at me or else she wants to get me over to her house and poison me.
Thankfully, she wasn't mad, nor did she poison me. Instead, we bonded over Sake, Tillamook cheese, and edamame. That night sealed our friendship and started our ritual of "porch time" that continued until she moved.
I guess I have J and his shit to thank for that.