Its Time to Stand Up !

Mother, Judy and I arrived a couple of hours earlier, set up camp, sorted what we were going to have for dinner. Mother loved camping on the beach at "Blue Lagoon Caravan Park" just at the start of Xmas holidays 1979 .... this was her 4th or 5th visit, with and without us kids ..... mother loved camping fullstop!

Judy was at the beach swimming and mother was about to go to the local shop in the caravan park. "Mom" I said, "Can I come for a walk to the shop with you?", "Sure" mother replied. "I neeeed to taaalk to yyou" I shyly stuttered... "About girls?" mother questioned "I was wondering if the time would come that you would ever ask me anything about girls?" .... "No!No!No! .... not about girls mom"..... "I need to tell you something you know already" I continued ... "Its time to stand up to you and Rodger and I thought that this would be the easiest start, as I know I cant.. and dont want to avoid the issue with him" ..... "What Issue!!?" mother exclaimed.....
Nervously but confident sounding I said... "Smoking" .... "I know, that you know I smoke cigi's!" .... "Ive always bought mine with my own money, never daring to steel any of yours or his".... "And I dont want to sneek off anymore to have a cigi" ... "I want to quietly sit on the verandah and have a smoke when I want!"...

By the time we reached the shop mother was deadly silent, we walked in mother grabbing a loaf of bread at the door continuing to the fridge for some milk in silence. We reached the checkout and I had stratigicaly and purposefully placed myself in front of mother in the line. As the lady said "Next!" and mother was putting the shopping on the bench, I interupted with "I'll have a packet of Winfield Blue for me and a packet PallMall for my mother please!" ... both the checkout clerk and mother turned their heads towards me... "I will also have a lighter please" I added with a smile... the clerk looked at mother and mother shrugged her shoulders with some minor level of approval.

Silence followed us out the door where I stopped and opened my cigi's, took one out and lit it! "How do you feel" mother asked .... "Never been so nervous... ever!" I muttered .... then that very well known and extremely formidable index finger pointing and shaking began... "Well Joe, if you are going to smoke then you have to do it in front of us... No burning down the house! and if "his magesty" says No, then im left in a very tight spot I hope you understand" mother exclaimed as the nodding finger continued longer than the words.... "No smoking in the bedrooms or garage" "And if you litter them in the yard then you have me to answer too!" mother explained, trying to be "hard" on me.

I was a very.... let us say "out there" teenager who knew no fear or no bounds. I made my own rules and suffered the consiquences, but that is another story not for these pages..... suffice to say, mother had her hands full with me, if I wasnt on one end of the rollercoaster I was on the other end or perhaps even on top ... either way rarely a happy medium.

For the remainder of our holiday mother was never off my back, not for her personal preference, but trying to avoid the enevitable "nuclear blast" that would occur on our return home.
"So Joe, what are you going to do when we get home?", "Talk to him about it?", "You know he wont take kindly to it!" .... mother continued to pedanticaly voice the many angles as they swarmed her mind..... "Im going to do exactley as I did with you mother" ....

2 blocks from home I lit a cigi and as we drove into the driveway I waved to him with cigi in hand.... He walked up to me when we got out of the car... "You know I smoke so im going to smoke in front of you from now on"... "So dont think about your "10 cigar trick" .... it wont work" I sounded out with confidence.
I think that was the first time mother walked with me side by side as we sidestepped "his magesty" gobsmacked as we unpacked our camping gear.

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