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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Pinky almost faces a mother's worst nightmare.

                                Hagar posing for his Mum.

When my youngest and fifth child, Lulu was born my eldest child was only six years old. Casually dropping this fact into a conversation with people would produce murmurs of admiration, sympathy and understanding. It was a fantastic excuse to circumvent a lot of the dreary, tiresome obligations in life (as well as explain my generally dishevelled appearance).

“Pinky, can you come to my Tupperware/jewellery/linen party on Thursday?”

“Would you be interested in helping on the tuckshop committee, Pinky?

“Which fete stall do you think you could help on Pinky?”

All to which I would earnestly answer, 

“I’m soooo sorry but I have no one to look after the kids.”

This excuse carried me through until Lulu turned eight and I was forced to face up to my tedious parental responsibilities.

Then fortuitously, another Indian Summer came along when Lulu turned thirteen and Thaddeus was still nineteen.

“I’ve got five bloody teenagers at home and I’m a bit bloody stressed out!” became my pity seeking catch cry.

Tomorrow Hagar turns twenty which means there are now only two teenagers residing at Chez-Poinker and my feeble apologies have become as flimsy and brittle as an octogenarian’s hip bone.

The shameful thing is that I almost forgot about Hagar’s birthday. Yesterday he stood at the front door, backpack in hand, and announced cheerily,

“Goin’ to Airlie Beach for the weekend with some mates Mum. I’ll see you Sunday night.”

“Really? Hagar why are you driving all that far, you know how nervous I get when you travel on the highway. Who’s driving? I hope you’re not driving your Starlet, it’s barely holding together as it is. Don’t drink too much and behave yourself. I can’t believe you’re putting me through this again. Here let me take one last picture of you in case you perish in a car crash.”

Grudgingly, he posed for a photo, kissed me goodbye and fled the scene like a thief stealing away with his mother’s poor despairing heart in his backpack. 

Okay… that was a bit melodramatic, but it wasn’t until he’d gone that I realised it was his birthday on Sunday and I hadn’t mentioned it.

A few months ago I discovered Hagar suspiciously stuffing a mattress into the back of his teeny Starlet.

“Where are you going with my mattress?” I asked.

“Goin’ to Ingham for a twenty-first party.” he answered laconically.

I spent the entire weekend in a ball of anxiety, nervously anticipating a phone call from the police informing me that Hagar’s body had been discovered in a wrecked, burnt out Starlet on the side of the Bruce Highway.

On Sunday morning my phone rang at 7:15 am. Oh God! This is it, I thought, this will be the call I’ve been dreading for the last five years, NO one rings me this early on a Sunday. It must be bad news.

“Hello!” I barked sharply into the phone.

“Is that Mrs Poinker?” asked an unrecognisable man’s voice on the other end.

Adrenalin shot through my body, bile rose in my mouth and I almost shouted a terse, 
“Yes! Yes it is!”

“It’s the ‘Springfield’ police station here. I was wondering if you are the owner of a car with the registration plate, 123 KGB?”

“YES I AM!” I roared into the phone, “WHAT”S HAPPENED?” 

I was very close to having either an aneurism or a major coronary event. My heart was about to explode in terror. Get on with it you STUPID FOOL POLICEMAN, I thought, I’m DYING in anguish here.

There was an agonising pause.

“It’s nothing serious,” he went on in a somewhat startled manner, “It’s just that your car was seen dumping a bag of rubbish in a vacant lot at around 2:00 am this morning. If it’s not removed in a couple of hours you’ll be getting a six hundred dollar fine.”

The dust began to settle and the dawn of comprehension rose in my befuddled brain. That rego was not Hagar’s car, it was my car, the car I’d loaned Padraic the night before.

“Just a minute,” I said to the lovely, nice policeman and marched purposefully down the hall.

“Padraic!” I yelled banging savagely on his bedroom door.

“Get up! The police want to speak to you RIGHT NOW!”

Happy Birthday Hagar and I pray you make it home safely x