OK. OK. So I know that’s not the smartest thing to do. My sore throat, watery eyes, and coughing attests to that. A visit to the doctor will have to wait.
When my 27-year-old son and his wife bought their first house, a short-sale, and needed help painting, how could I say no?
“You know I love you, John.” My legs dangled from the top of the kitchen pantry. Yeah, that’s right. The top. You can’t see the pantry from this picture, but it’s to the left of the cabinets. And no, you can’t see the ceiling, either. What is it, twenty feet high? And why didn’t my son take a picture of me for posterity? Just in case I fell.
I repositioned the clip holding my long hair. I’d already made one trip to the hairdresser to cut paint out of my hair. I didn’t need to spend money for another haircut so soon. Or endure my hairdresser’s snickers.
“Huh?” The rolling stopped. Wide brown eyes stared at me from ground level. What did he think I was going to say? That I was dying?
“Not everybody could drag me away from my writing to paint a house.” I sneezed. Coughed. Dragged a kleenex out of my pocket to wipe my nose. “Or climb a ladder this high. Only special sons. Keep rolling.”
Those brown eyes softened in a grin. “Yeah?” He picked up the twenty-foot extension roller. Started back on the living room walls.
“That’s right. You’re special. But you’re going to owe me. Big time.” I finished trimming and moved back to the ladder, my legs and arms shaking.
I had to do this. Nobody else in the family could trim as well as I could. Well, actually, nobody else wanted to trim. Especially the open space above the kitchen cabinets.
“Wait, mom.” John dropped the roller in the tray and took giant steps in my direction.
Wait? For what? I had work to do and not enough time to get it done. I continued climbing down, balancing the almost dry paint pan, a paint brush, and a roller in one hand, the ladder rung with the other. And got as far as the kitchen counter. I lost my balance, and my rump landed on the counter with a thud. But I managed to keep everything in my hand. Except the ladder rung.
“Ohh.” I couldn’t begin to tell you everything that hurt.
“Mom, I said to wait.” John stood in front of me, exasperation and concern warring on his face as he took brush, pan, and roller from my hand.
When did my son grow up? Become so mature? So wise? I’d waited so long, I didn’t notice it happened right in front of my face.
No. Painting in the midst of allergy season is not wise, but I can’t say there’s ever a good time to paint.
Except when your son needs you.