Mrs. Perfect(3)By: Jane Porter
Tori runs off in her pink two-piece, her still chubby thighs making little slapping noises. “Is that bad?” I ask, looking at my friends. “French fries right before dinner?”
“It’s the end of summer,” Patti answers with a shrug.
Exactly. Kids will be back in school in just days, and it’ll only get harder, what with homework and sports and meetings. Being a mother is a full-time job. I couldn’t work outside the home even if I wanted to.
“Mom! Mom! Taylor Young!” My middle daughter, Brooke, shouts at me from the pool, resorting to using my name when I take too long to answer.
I put a finger to my lips, indicating she’s too loud. “Come here if you want to talk to me,” I stage-whisper. “Don’t shout across the pool.”
With a sigh, Brooke drags herself out of the pool and splashes her way to our table. “Did you tell Tori I had to go order her French fries?”
“She’s hungry.” I’m not in the mood to deal with Brooke’s attitude now. For a middle child, Brooke is extremely strong-willed. “You can share her fries.”
“I don’t want fries.”
“What do you want?”
“Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream bar.”
“You said.” She gives me her “I’m seven and going into first grade” look. “You did, Mom.”
“What about a Popsicle?”
“Why does Tori get fries and I have to have a Popsicle? Why does she always get everything she wants? Because she’s the baby? When I was her age I could order my own fries—”
“Fine. Get your ice cream.” I give up. I just can’t do this today. Not without another drink. “Help Tori and get what you want.”
She flounces away, and I see the face she makes at me. I don’t call her on it, though. I’m too tired, and as the parenting experts all say, you have to pick your battles. I want them to get good grades, so I suppose I’ve picked mine. Besides, they’re not as lippy with Nathan. They wouldn’t be. He doesn’t put up with it, not like I do.
“Good meeting today, Taylor,” Patti says as Brooke grabs Tori by the shoulder to haul her into line at the snack bar.
Patti is co-chair with me for the Points Elementary School auction, and we held our first meeting of the year this morning at Tully’s on Points Drive.
I was worried about the meeting, but I needn’t have been. Our committee of seven is amazing. We’ve got the best parents this year, the best moms hands down.
“I heard so many great ideas during our brainstorm session,” I say, squeezing the rest of my lime wedge into my gin and tonic. “I have a hunch that this year’s auction is going to just blow everyone out of the water.”
And it will with what we’re planning.
We’ve got some spectacular live-auction items already lined up, including a trip to Paris—first-class on Air France—and a week on Paul Allen’s private yacht . . . in Greece, no less. I suppress a shiver of excitement. Corny as it is, I get goose bumps just thinking about it. “Patti, we can make this happen.”
“We are making it happen,” Patti corrects. She might be tiny and pretty, but she’s a workhorse. “We’ve already got chairs for each committee, and everyone’s experienced—”
“On the ball,” I add.
“And as we know, experience makes all the difference.”
Isn’t that the truth? I just love Patti. We’re on the same wavelength. It’s not just that we’re friends, but we’ve served on practically every school committee possible, and there’s no way I would have tackled the school auction if Patti hadn’t suggested we co-chair it together.
The school auction is Points Elementary’s biggest annual fund-raiser. The phone-a-thon, walk-a-thon, and wrapping paper sales all bring in money, but they don’t come close to generating the kind of money the auction does.
A strong auction nets a quarter million dollars. A fabulous auction nets a hundred thousand more.
Patti and I think we can hit four hundred thousand this year. At least that’s our goal.