Time passes slowly while you are waiting for life to happen.
Winter becomes spring and planting seasons. Children keep growing. Mercy follows me everywhere. She helps me feed the chickens and ducks. She helps me plant the the fields. When Charisma is there she does as well. I have the older girls help me get the soil ready. They are tired of this choir.
The day to day of planting and feeding and gathering eggs leaves my mind to wander. It wanders to the clubs, to men I will never have or see again.
The girls are still a little too young to leave by themselves so I can go out to the single bars or any other place I could find a man and not scare them away immediately by four fighting children. Maybe in another year, so I count down the days until Freedom turns 13. She should be old enough to watch her sisters while I nip out for a few hours once a week.
Until then, I decided I will just take the girls out to all the little fairs and festivals around town. Socialize enough to be known. Not seen as a freak. Or if nothing else, be around enough that it bothers the old bitches.
With Spring comes Strawberry festivals all over New England. These as usually sponsored by the churches in the center of these towns. Our town was just the same. So I packed the girls up and off we went.
Sack races, face painting, children singers, strawberry pies and other strawberry like pastries for sale.
We did it all. I cheered the girls on. Charisma fell in the egg race. Before I could get to her Tom had picked her up. I nodded thanks to him. He smiled back.
Later the girls wanted a snow cone and cotton candy each with a hot dog. I have told them before the Strawberry festival not to ask me for anything because we ate before and we will eat after. I realize that $20 for my girls all to have these things each is not much to many people, but that can be the whole weekends worth of food for all of us. I tried to say many things to them to get them to stop, but they were using public pressure to their leverage.
I heard one guy say "cheapskate, get your kids some food."
Oh I stopped and looked him right in the eye. I was about to explain the difference 7between cheep and poor using him and what ex wife says about him paying his child support had said about him when Tom saved his lousy judgmental-throwing -stones-in-glass-houses butt. How he save him? Before I could say what was in my mind, Tom had already bought the children all what they wanted.
I opened my mouth to protest, I don't want to be seen as so poor I would take from strangers, When he said "Hey, Emma, I am so glad you let me pay you and the girls back for the dinner you cooked for me and mother last week when she was ill." He handed me a burger and soda.
Tom looked at the jerk who made the remark "Hey, Joe, I see you didn't bring your kids, why not?"
"The bitch wouldn't let me have them, it's my weekend, too!" Joe said angrily looking at me.
"She usually only does that when you are more than a month behind in the old child support checks." Tom said with a smile as she led me and the girls away from the mother hating bitter ex husband.
"Don't mind him, he's a douche and everyone knows it " Tom said to me.
"Thanks. But I don't like to take charity. " I said back. "I really need to pay..." before I could reach into my purse or finish my sentience Tom stopped me.
"Hey, no, it's not like that. I just wanted to shut Joe up. Thank you for letting me put him in his place. He has been rubbing on my very last nerve for over a year now."
I looked at him as if I half believed him.
"If it makes you feel any better you can make me a supper. Than it is a truth. I could use a woman's home make meal any way. Tomorrow night? "
" That's fine, what do you like to eat?" I said hoping it wasn't something expensive.
"I'm not fussy, anything really. Just whatever your girls would eat on Sunday night. "
"Alright than, don't forget your mom." I said as we shook on it.
"Why would I bring her?"
"Because you told Joe I made supper for both of ya. I don't want to make a liar out of you." I said with a grin.
The girls and I parted with Tom and finished our day at the fair.
Sunday I was anything but lazy. I spent the morning cleaning.
The afternoon I was trying to make a Sunday meal that would be fitting of company.
I made some corn bread.
I had some wine left over from Christmas.
I made some brown rice.
I have chicken, mushrooms, garlic, ginger, pepers, onions, celenrto and soem itialian seasonings and cracked pepper. I put it all together with some of the wine. A little for the chicken a little for me.
I defrost a pie for deseart.
All came together by the time Tom and his mother showed up.
Tom's mom said to me apone entering my house, "I undestand you have to feed us to make my sure my son is not a liar. That is a good a reason as any to get out of the house and not have to cook."
She enjoyed the girls and we had a little too much wine all of the adults.
The food went over well and it was a much better evening than I suspected it might be.
The evening ended short as school was still in session at least for a few more weeks.
Could it be I might actually make some friends in this place?
Who knows but it's worth a ponder.
As we said our goodbyes Tom's mum said "Next time dear, have a proper date with my son." She winked as she said. " I can watch the little darlings."
"MOM! This was just her paying me back for the carney food at the church. " He smiled at me as if to say she was senile.
"Tom, next time ask the girl out proper!"
This was going on all the way to the car. I closed the door but listened through it at the same time.