“…my mom makes the best peanut butter cookies ever. Love ya mom. Happy mother’s day.”
The students applauded as Matt returned to his seat. His mother beamed proudly. “That is so sweet, Matt!”
Matt grinned. “Can I share the cookies now?”
The teacher, Mrs. Peterson smiled. His classmates crowded around as his mother handed him a large Styrofoam plate heaped with peanut butter cookies.
Matt handed them out, puzzled when he saw Jacy sitting slumped in the corner. “Want a cookie?” He offered.
A zoned-out Jacy answered. “A donut? Yes please, apple-spice.”
Matt blinked. “Earth to Jacy, peanut butter cookie?”
Jacy jerked, startled. “Uh, no thanks.”
“Jacy, you’re up next.” Mrs. Peterson announced. “Tell us about your mom.”
Jacy didn’t move. “There’s not a whole lot to tell.” Her eyes darted towards the classroom door.
“You mom couldn’t make it today?” Mrs. Peterson asked, sympathetic. Jacy looked at the floor. “Well, why don’t you read your essay to class anyway?”
“I didn’t write one.” Jacy squared her shoulders in defense.
Mrs. Peterson tried again. “There must be something you’d like to say.”
“You have nice mom.” Rina spoke up. “She makes good cake.”
“That was my babysitter. Not my mom.” Jacy glared at her. “My mom doesn’t bake. She says it takes too long. She’s better at cooking.”
“Really?” Mrs. Peterson encouraged. “What does she cook?”
“Lots of stuff.” Jacy said offhandedly. “We’re vegetarians. Every month we pick a theme. Like Italian or Chinese, then we collect recipes and make things.”
She slowly stood, shuffling to the front. Turning to face the class, she took a deep breath and began to speak. “My mom is different. She works a martial arts studio teaching Judo. She rides a blue Kawasaki, because Harley’s are too loud, she wears black leather and has two diamonds in each ear. She plays the flute and owns the donut shop on Gentry street. She travels a lot because of martial arts demonstrations all over the place, she always takes me with her whenever she goes.”
Jacy paused for a breath. “She’s a great mom and I love her lot. She’s really smart. She can speak five different languages and always has something chocolate around. She’s the kind of mom that doesn’t tell you not to do something and yell at you when you do. She just kind of let’s me learn from my own mistakes as long as it’s not something stupid.”
She smiled faintly. “Like when I got mad one time and tried to dye my hair green. She helped me dye it and took me to the salon to have it professionally colored when I got tired of it. She let me take singing lessons even though we both knew I couldn’t carry a tune. She never complained about wasting her time or how expensive it was.”
Warming to her topic, Jacy’s smile grew broader. “She always knows how to make me feel better. She taught me a lot of important things. I guess sometimes I don’t appreciate her as much as I should. She’s pretty busy, but she always makes time for me. I love her a lot.”
Finished, Jacy sighed with relief and headed for her desk, ignoring her classmates’ surprised looks.
“Not bad.” A new voice cut in.
Everyone turned to see and Jacy froze in mid-step. “Mom? When did you get here?”
Jacy’s description couldn’t have been more accurate. The woman smiling from the doorway, wore black leather, had two sparkling white studs in each ear, a blue motorcycle helmet tucked under one arm and a white paper bag in hand. She tossed it to Jacy, who grabbed it out of the air.
“Apple spice?” She asked hopefully.
“With chocolate frosting.” Her mom added. “I dipped it myself.” They shared a smile as Jacy hurriedly opened the bag. Taking a big bite, she closed her eyes to savor the sweetness.
Her eyes popped open. “Mom, where are we going?”
The answer was a smile followed with. “I’ll tell you when we get there. I have a demo from this weekend.” Jacy’s mom turned to Mrs. Peterson. She pulled a small white envelope from a fringed pocket and handed it over.
“Don’t eat all of that now, Jace. You’ll get my helmet sticky.” The blue helmet was slipped over Jacy’s head, along with a guiding hand on her shoulder. “Come on, we can’t miss our flight….”
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