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Singing Almonds

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We are on our way to the store, cruising in Mom’s minivan. It’s just Mom and I. She is clutching the steering wheel tightly, her knuckles becoming white. She leans up a little from her the driver’s seat, trying to see clearly over the dashboard as she makes a turn. Her petite body is so close to the wheel, but she seems very comfortable. It’s dark around her brown eyes, as they are intent on the road ahead. She has bags underneath them from all the late nights and early mornings.

In the background, the radio station is playing my favorite song, and I start singing along. Mom makes a sour face at me and my voice, yet I sing even louder to annoy her. Then she starts to sing along with me. Her eyes crinkle up, and her round cheeks become even chubbier when she smiles at me. Even though it is a song she would have never listened to, she has adapted to the “noise” in the background. Mom prefers peacefulness in her car, but I always turn on the radio—quietness is too awkward. I imagine her wondering, Why not sing? When she joins in at the chorus, we both sing, “You belong with me! Oooh, oooh, yeah… you belong with me!!” When the song comes to an end, I see Mom reach into her Ziploc bag, and pop an almond into her mouth. Munch, munch, munch. She eats another one. Slowly, the almonds’ scent consumes the minivan. I stare at her, and wrinkle my nose because of the smell. Mom sees me, and never fails to offer me one. But I reply, “No way, you burned them.”
However, she always shoots back a clever response: “As a young woman, you should take care of your body. And almonds will do just that.” Mom goes on about the various health benefits of nuts, and that I should have a daily serving of them. She then quietly defends herself by adding, “Anyways, I only lightly roasted them. I would never burn my almonds.” While Mom says this, she dramatically puts another almond into her mouth, and crunches down hard. At that, I chuckle and roll my eyes. She takes another almond and holds it out to me. I take one so I don’t have to hear another lecture on how healthy almonds, but I know that I kind of want to try one. Even as I timidly put one into my mouth, Mom quickly asks, “So, how is it? Do you want another one? Here.” She already takes another one out of the plastic bag from her purse.
“They’re okay.” I say nothing bad, so I don’t bother her with a negative comment. I accept the other almond, and include, “I mean…I guess they’re a good snack to have.”
Mom turns to quickly look at me and then smiles. “Yeah right!” she exclaims. She knows me too well to know that I barely meant it.
I start laughing, and say, “I’m sorry.” But she just joins in, and hands me another almond. While we enter the store’s parking lot, we laugh and sing laugh along to the radio again.





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PChauhan said...
Jun. 29, 2010 at 10:21 am
This is so cute! I am so proud of you. I could totally picture you're entire article. You are gifted my dear one, very gifted! Love ya!
 
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