The Lecture

by Laurie Bosley, 2003 copyright. All rights reserved.

On a hot summer afternoon, my mom put on her one piece swimsuit and headed outside to lay out and get some sun. As she laid down on a lawn chair with her back to the sky, she pulled her straps down to avoid getting tan lines on her shoulders. Sighing contentedly she said to herself, “Finally, I can relax.”

Meanwhile, inside Esther and I were hot and wanted to cool off a bit. We decided that a water battle sounded like a good idea. We didn’t have any water guns, so we grabbed a bucket and two cups before heading outside to the water hose. As we filled up the bucket, I threw a cup full of water on Esther’s head. She drew in a quick breath as the water trickled down her face. As she wiped the water from her eyes, she turned to me and said, “That’s it!” and the fun began.

Esther quickly retaliated by grabbing a cup of water and chasing me around the house. When she finally caught up to me, she threw the water at my back. As the water soaked my shirt, I let out a startled cry. With both of our cups empty now, we turned around and raced back to the water bucket. Unfortunately for me, she got there first. With a look of pure delight on her face, she grabbed the bucket triumphantly by the handle and held it up in front of her like a prized possession. As she smiled at me mischievously, I knew that I had to get out of there – and fast!

I took off running as fast as possible with Esther nipping at my heels. As she chased me, we ended up in the part of the yard where our mom was happily basking in the sun. Knowing I’d be safe with mom as my base, I raced to the opposite side of her chair. I smugly stood there and stared at Esther, a look of satisfaction on my face. For several seconds, we glared at each other, with mom lying half-asleep between us. Confident in my scheme, I smiled and said, “You wouldn’t dare.”

Well, she dared. As my sister threw the bucket of water at me, I jumped out of the way just in the nick of time. As I looked back over my shoulder, the scene behind me unfolded so quickly that I didn’t have time to warn mom of her impending cold shower. Horrified, I watched as the water flew out of the bucket and landed straight on her bare back. With a piercing scream, mom frantically jumped to her feet. She was now wide awake and absolutely steaming mad.

With her eyes narrowed and her teeth clamped tightly together she practically hissed, “How dare you. Of all the rotten things you two could ever do. I have one day, ONE DAY that I want to spend on myself and this is how you two behave!” She ranted and raved for several minutes, scolding us for our thoughtless behavior. As she lectured us, she stomped her foot on the ground multiple times and waved her finger wildly in the air. There seemed to be no way of stopping her heated tirade. The words rolled off her tongue a mile a minute.

Our eyes wide, we couldn’t do anything but stare as our mother stood there lecturing us oblivious to the fact that her bathing suit was down around her waist. Realizing that mom was standing in the middle of the yard practically naked in full view of the neighbors below, the hilarity of the situation suddenly hit us. Esther and I looked at each other and simultaneously busted out laughing. Mom was really steamed then and asked in a huff, “Just what do you two think is so funny?” Still laughing, Esther raised her index finger and pointed at our mom’s bare chest. As mom looked down at her topless self, her face drained of all color. She stood there silently for several long seconds as the humiliation of her situation sank in.

Just about then, dad came outside to see what all the commotion was about. As mom pulled up her straps and heatedly retold the story to him, dad let out a few nervous laughs. Before long, dad’s attempts to keep a straight face failed and he doubled over in laughter. Esther and I laughed until tears were running down our faces.

With that, mom turned on her heel and marched back into the house. As she stomped past us she muttered, “Well, I’ve never…I can’t get any respect around this house.” We could only imagine what else was said as she stormed back inside. As we continued to laugh, we knew that this lecture would be one we would always remember. We could only pray that the neighbors couldn’t say the same thing.