A Mother to Embarrass Me

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Authors: Carol Lynch Williams
door.
    “Laura!” Mom's voice echoed down the long hall toward my room. “Laura!”
    “I'm trying to get to you,” I shouted. Was my mother dying? What in the world could be happening? I rolled onto my back and kicked at the sheet. At last it came off one leg.
    I got up, threw open my door and started running down the hall, the green-and-white-checked sheet dragging behind.
    “What?” With another hard kick I was able to free myself. The sheet sailed like a cloth ball back toward my room, loose ends fluttering.
    Mom was sitting up in bed, cradling the phone to her chest.
    “Guess what?” Mom's voice was a squeal.
    I stood at the foot of her bed now. “Your water broke?” I had seen that plenty of times on TV. Maybe—I raised a trembling hand to my lips—maybe Mom was going to have the baby now. Maybe I would have to deliver it, right here,right here in my mother and father's bed. Ooh, yuck. At least we had plenty of towels. And hot water. And—
    Wait a minute, I was not ready for something like this. “Not yet,” I half shouted. “You're still too early to let Kyra come.”
    My mother shook the phone at me. “No, no, no, Laurie.”
    “You've called nine-one-one?” It felt as if I had become frozen to this spot at the foot of Mom's bed. I might never move again.
    “No.”
    I couldn't make my feet do anything, so I stretched as far as I could, reaching for the phone Mom held. “I'll call,” I said. “I'm not sure…” Now my tongue was frozen. I couldn't even begin to say, “I can deliver the baby.” This was definitely a job for someone trained in more than list writing.
    “Laurie.” Mom's voice was loud. “That was the fitness center people. Remember the commercial?”
    Why would she call them? Had she met a doctor there? Or an ambulance driver?
    “This is about the Saturday football game. Do you remember?”
    The fitness center? Football game?
    “Do you know what I'm talking about?” Mom made the words come out one-at-a-time slow.
    A football game? Was she now thinking of takingKyra to a football game? A newly born baby to a football game? My feet began to thaw. So did my mouth.
    “Mom,” I started, “you can't take a new baby—”
    “No baby,” she said.
    “No baby?” My voice screeched out of me, and for some reason I fell to one knee. I guess that proves just how scared I was.
    “Of course there's a baby.” Mom patted her large tummy, then waggled the phone at me.
    “There's a baby on the phone?” I asked. I stood up. Both of my legs were shaking, so I wasn't sure I wouldn't fall again. “Our baby?”
    Mom motioned me close to her. “Honey. Listen to me.” She squeezed my wrist with her hand. “This has nothing to do with the baby. You know that game where they're having old BYU football players come and play for charity?”
    “Yeah.” I kind of remembered hearing someone say something about it. Maybe it was Quinn. Or Christian. Wait. At my party all the guys had been talking about getting to see Steve Young play ball with Ty Detmer and Jim McMahon. I really hadn't been paying attention, so I wasn't quite sure. I pretended I knew, though, so Mom would get on with the story. I had to find out about Kyra. “Go on.”
    “My commercial is going to air then. Right. During. The. Charity. Game.” Mom shook thephone at me with each word. I dodged it. “Teehee,” she laughed. And I mean it. She really did laugh out “Tee-hee.”
    “I thought you were dying,” I said, narrowing my eyes. “I thought you were in labor.”
    “I'm fine,” Mom said. The phone was beeping now but still she didn't hang it up. “I've got to call your father.”
    “You made me lose my dream.” This wasn't quite true, but it seemed a fair thing to say, seeing how hard my heart was pounding. I felt all trembly. “Look, my hands are shaking.” I stuck both hands out in front of me like a sleepwalker. Neither shook. “People should not be allowed,” I said as I turned, “to awaken another

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