Last week on the heels of an operation my Mom was diagnosed with cancer, in two locations, just days before she came over for Christmas. She arrived chipper as usual, like it was nothing but a head cold. Even my friend Gil who spent the weekend with us commented on how MomJo was her naturally energetic, overly inquisitive self.
The only thing she was changing immediately was her diet — no more sugar, and as little gluten as possible. Even when I was a kid she was the original body conscious diet Mom. When everyone else had Ho Hos, we had wheat germ sprinkled on top of something else that tasted like wheat germ too.
The day after she arrived we went out as a family to The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant, to celebrate Ann’s birthday. Yep, it’s only days from Christmas, so you’ve got to do a little something extra so it doesn’t all blend together and become Merry Birthmas . . . . Even my Dad was going — they’re a long divorced couple in the best new American tradition, that of friendly exes.
Since we really go to The Melting Pot for the melted milk chocolate dessert classed up as fondue, the rest is preamble. On the way there, I casually mentioned to MomJo that in solidarity with her I was going to skip the dessert . . . which disappointed her only because she seemed to have been hoping we’d forgotten about this little going without sugar thing.
When the time rolled around for the milk chocolate fantasy finale, we switched Dad over next to Ann so she, Dad and Zane would be in front of the pot.
When he asked why, I explained.
“More for us!” Dad crowed, rubbing his hands.
Just as the array of treats to be skewered into the melted chocolate arrived, Zane scooted over to MomJo. He looked up at her and said: “MomJo, I’m in solidarity with you too.”
And that was that. He abstained from the chocolate — an eight year old. That kid loves his MomJo.