A couple of weeks back, when my mom spent the weekend in the hospital, once things calmed down and we all settled into a hospital routine of sorts, I went off to run some errands for my folks. One of which was to buy groceries so their refrigerator would be full once she got home, because what else am I but a mom myself, and that’s the sort of things that moms do — make sure people are fed and clothed and have clean faces.
While I was standing in the check-out lane, I picked up a Martha Stewart Living and tossed it on the conveyer belt, figuring it would give my mom something to read while she was convalescing. I’m not actually all that sure she wants to flip through Martha Stewart Living, but it seemed better than People, at least.
And the magazine did do what I’d hoped, and distracted her. Especially the section on April Fool’s tricks that a person (meaning ‘a mother’) could play on one’s family, which gave the two of us fodder for at least fifteen minutes of conversation.
When Martha Stewart tackles April Fool’s Day, she does it as only Martha can: one of her proposed “tricks” (which was bee-you-tifully photographed, let me tell you) was to fry up quail eggs one by one and place them gently on tiny cocktail toasts which then could be served for breakfast on April 1.
Lady, you do know that Rome is burning out there, don’t you?
One of her other suggestions just happened to contain materials that I… just happened… to have on hand: milk and gelatin.
And the basic idea was to make a sort of milk jello and serve it in glasses for breakfast April Fool’s morning.
What was I going to be out if I went down this path? A packet of gelatin purchased in 2003 and a cup of milk. And so, dear Reader, I presented my loving family with three glasses of “milk” this morning.
We usually don’t drink milk with breakfast.
The Husband looked at his, bemused. Why did you give me a glass of milk? he asked, as if it were a vodka tonic or something equally unusual and forbidden.
The girleens, oh the girleens, they did exactly what they usually do when presented with a glass of milk — and ignored theirs.
Breakfast was winding down, the glasses sat untouched.
Have a sip of milk before you go get dressed, I urged Elder Girleen (knowing Younger Girleen was even much less likely to reach for hers).
She reached; she lifted the glass.
It’s solid! she cried.
And then my long-suffering family turned and stared at me, their mother, the silly one, such a complete April Fool.