: Your Children and Mine :

an excerpt by Maureen McCoy

I was so surprised, actually stunned, to hear that Jeri and Drew had children.  I had dropped in that afternoon to tell Jeri that a girl at the coffee shop said she got me mixed up with Sarah's mother.  “You look just like Sarah's mother.”  I said that earlier in life people had said I vaguely looked like someone or another, even Squeaky Fromme back when, but this was a first:  I looked like someone's mother.  Since I had never been a mother to anyone, though was of the age to be a young grandmother, it jolted me.  I admitted to discomfort and a tiny bit of pleasure.  I had no idea who Sarah was and felt so taken off guard I did not ask.  I passed, was the thing.  I look like someone's mother. 

            I laughed and then Jeri laughed there at her kitchen table as I expected her to and out came this comment about her daughter-“we don't look alike”- and I sat, I think open-mouthed, with a can of Blue Sky in my hand.  The girl would be an adult child, of course; Jeri and I and everyone all hover around retirement age and indulge our various schemes, some foolishly juvenile and aggressively prideful to boot, such as the Boys on Bikes, or BOBs, as they call themselves, the cycling group that Jeri's husband, Drew, founded.  By definition, outsiders become reinventions in Santa Fe, and you never know who wants to forget what.  The point for so many is to be set free of relatives and-dull heritage, I banish you!-costumed out of the Old West, if one pleases.  What did our pale farmer ancestors wear to the dance after baling hay?  Certainly not the broomstick skirt and the concha belt-poor things. But even so consciously attired here, did people forget to mention to friends that they had children?