By Reba Phelps
During my Middle School years anyone who was anyone could be found at the skating rink on Friday and Saturday nights. This was the social haven of the elite popular kids, delinquent kids, and kids who wanted to feel like they belonged. Very few childhood memories do not include the skating rink in some shape, form or fashion. All of the stories narrated at school the following week were always proceeded with, “this weekend at the skating rink…”
My main goal at this point in my life was to have witnessed each and every one of those stories first hand and laughed with the masses as we recalled the events.
On Thursdays, we would conspire to see who was spending the night where and whose parents would transport us to and fro. Just so happened that my parents were not at all concerned with my social life and did very little to support my efforts to be part of the “in” crowd. The only crowd they enabled me to hang around was our church youth group. I would venture to say that they went out of their way to prohibit me from having any type of fun that did not involve Jesus or baptismal waters.
Living in this restrictive environment caused me to be more creative and think outside the box when attempting to schedule an outing. One particular weekend during 8th grade year there was going to be a party of epic proportions at the said location. Kids were coming from hundreds of miles away just to be shoulder to shoulder enjoying the neon disco lights, loud music, skating and soggy nachos.
I had to be there and took extraordinary measures to make it happen.
A group of us got together and decided the best way to make sure that I was in attendance was to tell my parents that another set of parents would be taking all of us out to eat. I presented my case to my mom and dad. If Power Point was an option at this time I would have had it arranged. The plan was fool-proof. The parents were taking us to Sabine Parish to eat Meat Pies.
Yes, we were leaving the Meat Pie Capital of the world to a much smaller town to eat their nondescript meat pies. There appeared to be no flaws in this plan.
My parents bought in on my sales speech and told me to let them know when I returned from Many. We were all so very proud of our fool-proof plan.
The night seemed to go off without a hitch. The skating rink was full of kids just as we had heard. Everyone was there enjoying the festivities and I was not even feeling a twinge of guilt. I had completely forgotten that I manipulated my way into getting what I wanted and lied to the two people who gave me life.
All was well with my soul until I heard my name being called over the DJ’s mic. I can still hear the DJ saying, “If there is a Reba Procell in here your mother is looking for you.” At the time, I remember thinking maybe there was another Reba there that night. That was until all of my friends backed away from me as if they had never met me. When I turned around there was an angry lady from Zwolle staring at me.
I knew she was angry because I had seen that crazed look so many times before. That night when our eyes locked I knew my fate. Being the polite-in-public person that she was she merely said, “honey, it is time to go home.”
As I told my friends goodbye, I remember not knowing if I would see them again. We were barely out of the door when she began angrily expressing all of the things that were going to happen to me once we arrived at our home. Being bold, or somewhat half-witted, I asked my mother one simple question that changed the trajectory of my middle school social life.
“Mama, why you acting so crazy?”
I don’t remember much after that. It was a blur. I just remember chores for months on end. I remember not touching a telephone for months. I remember sitting on the lonely front porch and watching my friends walk by on the street. I remember them shaking their heads and saying, “Meat pies in Many, what were we thinking?”
Looking back it was not the wisest thing telling Eva Gail that she was acting crazy. Now having two daughters of my own I know the severity of my crime. I dare to say that I would have reacted the same way if not worse.
It seems to me as though when God made mothers he made all of us with a touch of crazy.
I cannot think of a better adjective to describe the intense love of a mother. It is crazy the lengths we will go to in order to protect our children and keep them safe. It is almost unfathomable to think that this instinct is within our DNA as soon as we become mothers.
It is crazy the amount of hours logged praying that our children become decent humans who care for others. It is crazy to think that a mother can love a son so much who was not even conceived with her husband. It is even crazier to think that the very same mother stood there and watched as her son was crucified for sins he did not commit.
There is nothing bigger and crazier than a mother’s love.
“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.” – Proverbs 31:26-27