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Wayne Post
  • Anne Palumbo: A gift with a steel lining

  • I’ve always known that my kids, now in their twenties, were tough cookies.  A challenge would arise and they’d meet it, head on.  But this past Christmas, something happened that made me realize I had produced children with backbones of steel.

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  • I’ve always known that my kids, now in their twenties, were tough cookies.  A challenge would arise and they’d meet it, head on.  But this past Christmas, something happened that made me realize I had produced children with backbones of steel.
    It all started with the dream gift my kids gave me:  a pizza-making cooking class with the two of them.   “Hallelujah,” I cried, “time together doing my favorite thing!”
    On the night of the class, I offered to drive, despite my reservations.  You see, neither likes the way I drive and has no problem telling me.  I go too slow; I’m the only person on Earth who stops for yellow lights; I’m never in the correct lane; I merge like a geezer; and I listen to dorky music.
    But that night, they actually wanted me to drive, and – here’s the shocker – they didn’t say a word.  Not a peep!  Because they were so quiet and because, at times, I caught the strangest looks – my daughter with clenched eyes; my son biting his lower lip – I asked if they were feeling okay.   Yes, yes, they said in unison, all’s good.
    When we arrived at the class and took our station, I, naturally, wanted to take a picture or two.  I don’t know about other families, but my kids have never warmed to having their picture taken, at least not in public places with moi. 
    Nonetheless, I was determined to document the momentous occasion and took out my camera.  Shocker number two?  They not only struck a pose, but they also didn’t object when I asked someone at the station to take several pictures of the three of us and then several more with the pizza chef.   Go figure!
    They also didn’t wig out when I asked the chef to explain more thoroughly what he was trying to convey.  From past experience, I know this trait irks my kids; but on that night they smiled and said nothing.  Heck, they didn’t even react when – shocker number three – I contested something the chef did.   My bad, I know.
    It dawned on me then that the kids had had a pre-class powwow.   I can only imagine the words exchanged:  Don’t criticize her obnoxious driving!  Grant her carte blanche picture-taking!  Weather her incessant questions!  Accept her need to befriend every person in the room!  Laugh at her lame jokes!  Allow that she will find something that needs to be reported to the local health department!
    But whatever, right?  We had a great time, the kids displayed some true grit, and I learned how to make pizza from scratch.  Too bad only one of the pictures came out, though.  Oddly, both kids look like they’re undergoing surgery without anesthesia in every picture but the departing shot.
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