is a story of a conversation that happened today.
Actually, it is still an unsolved mystery. My story is an attempt to share and capture a conversation I had with Mommy this morning, sprinkled with comments from my sister via text through out the day.
Before I jump into the story, I have to introduce you, dear blog readers, to two women of central importance in my life: my dear mother, also known as Mommy Pham and my dear sister Janine Pham.
Here they are:
There is a Vietnamese saying, one of her many favorites, that my mom chirps off at choice teachable moments that goes something like "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree." In my case that is so true: she's given me all the best parts of myself. I am sweet fruit because my mom is one hell of a tree. I love our relationship and how it continues to grow. I will likely write about her repeatedly, sharing short anecdotes of tenderness and hilarity. I will do this because my mom is awesome. Mommy Pham can also be shy about meeting new people (yet contrarily has no qualms about mouthing off strangers who have sassed her) so many of you will not likely ever get to meet her. This is a great travesty so I will attempt to make amends by sharing her awesome :)
+ The Case of the Displaced Lobster
My mom keeps pet blue crayfish, (procamabrus alleni or orconectes immunis). She calls them her "lobsters" and she is fascinated by their behaviour. Lobster tank politics and updates on the cycle of births and deaths are regular topics of conversation.
Here are a few pictures of Mommy's tank:
Me: Hello Mommy, how's it going?
Mommy: Oh I'm glad you called. I was going to call you, I have to ask you something. Do you have a moment?
[At this point I'm a little alarmed and on guard; Mommy always tells me how something is going to roll out, she never asks permission.]
Me: Sure Mommy ...
Mommy: Did you take one of my lobsters out of the tank and bring it downstairs to the laundry room sink the other day?
Me: [Aghast] No Mommy! Why would I do that?
Mommy: [Sounding relieved] Oh good, I'm sure it wasn't you. Now to ask John ... but I bet it's that Ni ... (short for Janine)
Me: [Confused] Wait wait, hold on a second Mommy. What happened?
Mommy: [Excitedly] Well I went down to the laundry room the other day and I found one of my lobsters in the laundry room sink! Thank goodness he was still moving around so I brought him back upstairs and put him back in the tank. [Now voice escalates in wonder with a note of disbelief / anger] Who would do such a thing? Bring lobster downstairs and leave him like that?
Me: Oh my gosh Mommy I have NO idea. That sounds bizarre! Do you think you did some sleep walking and moved the lobster downstairs by accident?
Mommy: [Firm exasperation] NO! Why would I do a thing like that?
Me: Well I dunno Mommy, why would anyone move your lobster???
Mommy: That's what I was thinking. Your dad definitely didn't.
Me: What do you think happened then Mommy?
Mommy: [Suspicious] Well I asked your sister and she said she didn't. But I don't know. Who else in the house would do it?
Me: [Aghast and in shock, again] Why in the world would Janine do it Mommy?
Mommy: [Defensive and conspiratorial] Why would any one do such a thing?? Take a helpless lobster out of its tank and just put it in the sink. Why would anyone do that??
Me: I have no idea Mommy.
Mommy: Okay, well I didn't think you did it.
...and then we changed gears in our topic of conversation and continued to discuss wonderfully mundane and normal things, like borrowing the car. In utter mystification (and a lot of tickle) I texted my sister:
Me: << Did you relocate Mommy's prawn to the downstairs laundry sink? >>
Sister: << NO. She's been accusing me of it for the last couple of days! >>
Tonight I hung out with Janine and asked her about it again. My sister finds the situation mildly exasperating, rather than amusing as my mom has singled her out to be the primary suspect in lobster relocation.
Sister: You know what she said to me when I told her I didn't do it? She backed off, looked at me coolly and said "Okay okay! Alright, you can say what you want to me but really, it's between you, that lobster and God."
I love my Mommy.
With chuckling love,