Mom’s Special Day
Saturday morning; Lou was going over the finances of the household again as she did every week. Her husband Hana was out hanging out with his guy friends and wouldn’t be back in a couple of hours.
Little Nero came in and tugged her clothes, “Mom, can we go to the playground today? I’m bored.”
Lou turned to her little boy, “I’d love to, sweetie, but I’m a little busy; do you want to wait for dad to come back?”
Nero shook his head, “No, today I think you should have some fun with me, mom.”
“Well, okay, I do need to go pick up some groceries; just let me freshen up a little and we’ll head on out, okay Nero?”
Nero nodded excitedly, “Okay!”
A short road trip to town later, Lou and Nero arrived at the quaint little playground that the young tyke and his friends hang around at. Nero pointed to the swing set, “Let’s play at the swings, mom!”
Lou brought her son over to the swing, standing behind him as he put himself on the seat, “Are you ready, Nero?”
Nero nodded in confirmation, and Lou started pushing him gently on the swing.
No matter how many times she had heard it before, the sound of Nero laughing with joy always made her feel proud to be a mom.
After Nero finished warming up with the swing, he decided to go try out his favorite playplace: the jungle gym.
These days, most kids prefer to stay at home and play in the comforts of their house and yard, but Nero was always one of the handfuls that remained an adventurous sort.
Lou glanced at her watch momentarily after a little while and her eyes grew wide, “Oh my, Nero, we have to go to the market now before your father gets home!”
Nero peeked out of the play place, “Okay, mom, here I come!”
Nero jumped down from a high precipice on the gym, putting his mother in momentary distress, “Nero! Be careful!”
He landed gracefully on his feet, standing up with his arms stretched in the air, “I am Nero Ninja! Whoosh!”
Later, at the supermarket, Lou buckled Nero to the seat of the shopping cart, a scowl of disapproval evident upon her face.
“Mom, I said I wasn’t hurt.”
She wouldn’t have any of that, “Nero, you could’ve been seriously hurt! Kids shouldn’t do crazy stunts on high places.”
“But I’ve been practicing a lot of times; I make sure to do everything properly so I don’t break something.”
Lou calmed down somewhat, “Well, anyway… I guess as long as you aren’t hurt, that’s all that matters. But don’t scare me like that again, okay?”
Nero had become quite the acrobat lately ever since he started hanging out with Becrai. Now Lou did agree to allow him to teach Nero “ninja skills” since neither she nor Hana would always be there for their son, so he needed to learn some means to protect himself; that being said, she sometimes worries that maybe this was a little bit more than she asked for.
“Now let’s see, Hana said he wanted to have some curry later this Monday, I wonder if he wants it mild or spicy.”
As Lou continued to ponder over the curry powder another customer passed by her momentarily with an odd look towards her cart, when Lou noticed, she asked what she was doing, “May I help you?”
“Excuse me, ma’am, but do you really need that much spice?”
Lou turned around and noticed that Nero started reaching out for some stuff along the shelves that looked interesting, dropping them into the cart.
“Nero, stop that, we don’t need any of that.”
“Sorry, mom, I thought dad would like the intense flavor.” He said with a wry smile.
“I think that might be too intense, Nero. He might get a hot tummy.”
“Dad is better with a hot tummy than a hot head.”
Lou giggled at the joke at her hubby’s expense,
Nero looked down at his hands, “Sorry about the jungle gym, mom, I didn’t mean to make you worry.”
Lou reached out and patted him on his little head, “its fine, Nero, you’re the one with the skills here; I guess I over-reacted a little bit.”
“I guess… but still, I wanted to make you happy today.”
She kissed him lightly on the forehead, “Oh Nero, you make me happy every day.”
“But I wanted to make you feel special-happy today.”
Lou raised an eyebrow, “Oh, why Nero?”
Nero turned away, as though he realized something he shouldn’t have.
Although she was a little baffled by Nero suddenly clamming up, she decided not to press him for it; Nero doesn’t deserve any more stress after his little stunt from the playground.
By the time they came home, the whole neighborhood seemed kind of silent, more than usual.
Not paying much heed to it, Lou put Nero down, picked up the grocery bags and together with Nero they walked towards the door, which was slightly open, “Looks like Hana forgot to close the door properly again.”
As she placed the groceries down and turned to close the door, Nero kicked off his shoes and ran towards the living room.
“Nero? Hey, where are you going?”
Lou hastily took off her shoes and went after him, but when she turned into the darkened living room, the lights suddenly burst open, and a row of voices shouted in unison, “Happy Birthday, Lou-chan!”
Lou was so busy dealing with the stresses of the whole week that she had put off thoughts on her own birthday until she sort of forgot about it.
After much merriment, the sharing of jokes, opening presents, and cleaning up after the children’s messes, the Asakura family was finally left alone to unwind.
“Very clever Hana, knowing that my busy Saturday schedule would keep me distracted long enough for you and your boys to do the décor.”
“And good ol’ Nero was in on my little plot; he almost let up a bit today, didn’t he?”
“Speaking of Nero, where is he?”
Speak of the little devil, he came waddling in on his parents carrying a colorful arrangement in his hands.
“Mom, look what I made for you.”
It was a tiny little flower made out of slices of oranges, kiwi and strawberries.
“Oh, how cute, did you make this for me Nero?”
Nero looked up with a smile, “Yeah! I worked extra hard with my friends in arts class, I made this while I was in the kitchen.”
Lou took the fruity art piece in her hands and marveled at the delicate structure of the deceptively simple piece, “It’s a beautiful presentation Nero, I love it.”
“You should give it a taste mom, I bet you’ll love it more in your tum-tum.” He said while rubbing his tummy to emphasize its delectability.
Lou took a piece of strawberry from the piece and tasted it, and she had to admit, that was some good fruit, “You have good taste in fruit, Nero.”
Nero climbed up the seat they were on, and together with his father, they both kissed her on the cheeks.
“Happy birthday, mom”
“Happy birthday, love”
Lou had to admit, although her boys were a major handful, they really knew how to show some sugar.