Friday, September 6, 2013

About Blonds

Sam has always had a thing for blonds. I remember him as a toddler. He would look with interest at the glossy pictures of magazine models, always brightening when he saw a smiling blond.

One day I showed him a series of ads. Sure enough, he smiled at the blonds and dismissed the brunettes. In preschool, he preferred his blond sitters and therapists. Eventually his fascination with blonds seemed to wane until I forgot about it.

Then, years later came the summer I remember as the “Summer of the Blonds.”

It was the summer Sam woke one morning and decided our home was undesirable. Honing his Houdini skills he escaped whenever he could to the neighbor’s house: a beautiful family with a picture perfect blond mom and dad and four equally perfect blond kids and a TV just like ours.

The split second we were distracted, the phone would ring. Mrs. Blond’s kind voice would say, “Yes, Sam is here again.” We’d assure her we really did watch him. Though I am sure she didn’t believe us; though she likely thought us the worst parents ever, she always patiently said, “Don’t rush, he is fine, watching TV my kids.”

Ninety seconds later I’d be on her doorstep. Once inside, I would find Sam with his dark curly hair and Mediterranean coloring in the middle of her sofa in command of the remote control, surrounded by her blond children, watching TV. 

The blond children wore colorful shorts and tees. Sam wore his escape uniform: underpants on backwards and white tee shirt. The contrast between Sam and the other children always reminded me of a work sheet where you chose the item that didn’t belong. 

Sam visited for about one summer and then, as curiously as it began, Sam stopped visiting the Blond Family, marking the end of his second blond fascination.   

I didn’t think about Sam’s periodic interest in blonds until this summer when I heard Sam ask, “Mommy! Let’s go shopping!” “What should we buy?” I asked, expecting him to inquire about a favorite DVD. Instead I heard, “A new different Mommy.”

“A new different Mommy?” I asked, surprised. “Yes! A new different mommy” he confirmed. Though I already knew the answer I asked, “What color hair: blond or brunette?”

“Blond. Yes. Blond”

“Sammy,” I said, “I don’t think you can buy blond mommies or any mommies.” But Sam insisted we go shopping prompting me to ask, “Where do they sell them?” Sam answered confidently, “At the drug store. Mommy. Go shopping. New different Mommy.”

Tonight we’re shopping for a new blond mommy. At Rite Aid. I don't know why Sam wants a replacement Mommy. I am hopeful he is only looking for a spare, just in case I wear out. Still, if we happen to find one on sale, I am not paying. He can use his own money for that.

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