The Mother Discusses Grinning – Long Conversation #70

Posted on January 25, 2012


The mother was lying on the couch. Something terrible had happened to the mother and so she lay there weakly. Everyone surrounded her because they were concerned because of this terrible thing that had happened to the mother. I appreciate the attention, the mother said to them. But why are you grinning?

It was true. Everyone was concerned but they all wore a wide grin. They couldn’t help it. We can’t help it, they said.

One of the primary jobs of a mother is to teach her family. You cannot grin, she said. You cannot grin when something terrible happens to someone in the family. You need to frown. It’s nice that you are here and you are worried about me because of this terrible thing inside me, but you must not grin.

We cannot help it, her youngest son said.

Come here, the mother said to her youngest son. Bring me my tools and come here.

The son grabbed the mother’s tools and came to see her. He was still grinning. Bend down, she said. She took a needle and thread from her tools. She worked quickly and the pain was minor. She sewed his face in the shape of a frown.

Oh my, the father said.

Oh goodness, the Grandmother said.

The son looked ridiculous.

They all began to laugh, even the son who broke the thread with the muscles in his grin. Even the mother, even with this terrible thing that was inside her.