Friday, July 01, 2005

i need a holiday

“I need a holiday,” I said under my breath.

“What?!! You need a holiday?!!”

My father and I stared at each other, eyes wide in shock. We hung our heads, slumped our shoulders and kept walking.

My mother still stood, incredulous, in the middle of the pedestrian path where she had made this interjection.

“What do you mean you need a holiday?!”

Almost to the corner now, my father and I could barely hold it in much longer. We motioned for my mother to come to us and get away from the bike path. Laughter started to spill from the corner of our mouths. Tears welled up in our eyes. Soon the guffaws burst out.

Realizing by our reaction that a joke had just occurred, she began to laugh too. “What is it? What just happened? Why are we laughing? I want to know!”

It was difficult to laugh and talk at the same time. “Did you see the woman with the stroller that we passed a few minutes ago?”


“So you didn’t see the shirt she was wearing?”


“It said, ‘I need a holiday.’”

My mother’s eyes widened as she realized what had happened. “Where was this woman when I said ... what I said?”

“She was walking right by us at that very moment.”

Her fears began to crystalize in her mind as she pieced together what had happened. She ran behind a bush and collapsed into one of the benches in a fit of uncontrollable laughter.

Through our own tears, we tried to console her. “Maybe she was German and didn’t even understand what her own shirt said.”

“But what if she was one of the British mothers?!”

“No way she’s British! Did you see her? She actually looked in the mirror this morning!”

In the end we felt a little sorry for this young mother taking her baby out for a walk. Raising a baby is hard work. Why shouldn’t she have a holiday?!

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