A Secret Friend Part 6

Previous a secret friend part 5.

“Now you remember,” Mom said playfully, “what we used to do when the two of you hated each other and would never ever talk to each other again as long as you both lived?” Mom laughed out loud, and then Adrien was laughing too. She buried her face in Mom’s shoulder, nuzzling her and feeling happy and embarrassed.

Mom didn’t wait for an nswer. “Do you remember? We used to go to Bill’s for hamburgers you and Bella and Gloria and I.”
“I remember,” Adrien said happily.
“Well, I haven’t seen Gloria in ages. I’ve been busy with the book, and she’s up to her ears in classes, it will be fun all around. I’ll call her.”

“Oh, do it, Mom, right now. Call her now.” Adrien began pushing her mother toward the phone. Mom looked up at the sunflower clock over the refrigerator, and said, “She won’t be home until fourthirty or so. I’ll phone her then. Should we make it for Saturday?”

“Sure, Mom.”
“And don’t worry. Mom took her face between both hands and looked deep inside her eyes. But there were no more dark, ubhappy corners so Mom kissed her nose, and the two of them sat down at the round oak table and ate warm peanut butter cookies and milk.

“How was school?” Mom asked.
“Okay, Mr. Peter liked my story.”
“I knew he would. Did he reas it to the class?”
“No, but he hung it up.”
“How was the math test?”
“A piece of cake! I think I got an A. mom, did you put orange rind in the cookies?”

“Yes, how do you like it?”
“Mmm. But I think I like it best with just a nut flavor. Anyway, how’s the book going?”
“Just sixteen more recipes to go. Tonight I’m going to try out a Louisiana Gumbo on you all, and don’t say you like it if you don’t.”
“I won’t, but I like everything you make.”
“Oh you! You’d eat anything even dog food,” Mom said lovingly. They grinned at each other and Adrien felt a warm, comfortable feeling spreading inside of her.

Most of the kids she knew, even Bella, complained about their mothers. She never did. Mom complained about her a lot that she was sloppy, that she was lazy, that she talked too much, and underneath all the complaining, Adrien knew that she was Mom’s favirote. Mom hardly ever complained about Helen, but she and Helen argued almost all the time. Mom spoke only in praises sbout Arabella, but now that Arabella was away at U.C. Berkeley, she hardly ever came home weekends except when Mom called and asked her to come. Adrien could not believe that a time would come when she would want to leave home.

Adrien loved being with Mom. Anytime she and Bella weren’t playing, she’d stay home and talk to Mom or work with Mom or just be around where she could see her and hear her. Mom always had time for her always would stop what she was doing to talk and to listen always was interested in everything adrien did or thought or wanted. Mom was interested in the games Adrien played, in the work she did in school, and in the kids in her class. Mom was particularly interested in the smart kids, in the ones who were as smart as Adrien, and most of all, in the ones who were maybe a little bit smarter.

All the ups and downs of her friendship with Bella she had revealed to Mom. Mom had listened, sympathized, and advised. She had never had any secrets from Mom.

“What’s that?” Adrien pointed to one of the counters.
“Marie. I had some time finding it fresh.” Mom stood up, walked over to her desk, and looked over some papers lying there. She was writing another cookbook. Last year, much to everyone’s surprise, her first book, soupson, had been published and had already sold over twenty thousand copies. This second one, on regional American cooking, was called Of Thee I Sing Cookbook and Mom had invited all the parents in Adrien’s school to contribute recipes. She hoped to include a little personal and regional history along with each recipe selected.

Adrien left her mother comparing three gumbo recipes, and went upstairs to her room. Such a lovely room! Every time she stood in the doorway and looked inside, she marveled at it and at herself for having it.

Next a secret friend part 7.