He Didn’t Deserve The Bacon

My Grown Son Screwed Up and It Hurts

Rica Ramos-Keenum
Middle-Pause

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He calls to ask, “What are you cooking?” It’s a question he’s been asking you since he learned to talk. You remember him as a child, with his velvet black curls, brown eyes big as balloons.

He’s 24 now and his voice is manly, robust, and you can almost feel the bristle of his facial hair across the line as you cradle the phone on your cheek. You want to say, “Shit,” because that’s precisely what he deserves. A hot steaming plate of shit.

But you say, “pancakes,” and he asks if there will also be bacon. Always the bacon.

You grit your teeth and answer, “no,” because you do not have a slab of bacon and he’s not worth the trip to the store. Not today.

You want to want to treat him to bacon, your first-born son, the boy who at age 10 walked a mile to the dollar store to buy you a pink plastic heart and a porcelain child on a polka-dotted mushroom.

The boy who routinely nudged you aside and said, “I got it, Mom,” then slung all six grocery bags across his forearms — three on each side, and turtle-walked into the house.

The boy who rubbed your feet for rides to the video game store, a decent trade of services, and for your birthday, baked you a spaghetti squash with a pool of warm cream and…

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Rica Ramos-Keenum
Middle-Pause

Journalist, yoga enthusiast, author of Petals of Rain and Nobody's Daughter: A Memoir of Healing The Mother Wound. Connect at Ricawrites.com