I wished my daughters a Happy Mother’s Day. It does not seem that long ago that my daughters were only my daughters and not mothers, too.
And it does not seem that long ago that my mother was still in her body. And when she was still in her body, she was like a big kid who would play and often do silly things.
From my mother, I inherited her playfulness and her willingness to be silly.
My father took life more seriously. From him, I inherited bald spots and bad smells.
And on the subject of bad smells, my mother did not like the word “fart.” She said that it was a bad word and we were not allowed to say it. We had to use “bop” for “fart.”
“Mommy, Daddy did a bop!” we would say a lot.
What is it about fathers that they have to pass a lot of wind? My father was the Bop King of Canada. He could have been the Bop King of the World, but there was never a contest to determine this. He bopped a lot.
Ma often complained about Dad’s bopping.
“When I get into the bed, your father bops me in. And when I get up in the morning, he bops me out.”
I only know of Ma bopping once, and I was the only one to hear it. I was about 12 years old. It was a school day in winter. I know it was winter because I was eating porridge for breakfast at the kitchen table. Ma made us porridge for breakfast during the winter, and we could eat cereal (Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Cheerios, etc.) during the rest of the year.
I was the only one in the kitchen with Ma. My brother and sisters had not come downstairs yet. Ma was standing with her back to me at the counter by the stove preparing our lunches.
Suddenly, I heard a squished-fart noise come from Ma. It was not a regular fart noise. It sounded as if a regular fart noise had been squished. That is the best way I can describe it. I realized, “Ma bopped!” But my mother said nothing and carried on as if nothing had happened. I waited for the smell, but none came. So I carried on as if nothing had happened. And when my brother and sisters came down for breakfast, I said nothing to them.
Recently, I asked my brother and sisters if they ever heard Ma bop. They mentioned how Dad was the Bop King of Canada, but never did they ever hear Ma bop.
So there you have a Mother’s Day memory revealed for the first time. My mother bopped once in her entire life, and I am the only one who heard it.