Thursday, June 3, 2010


I saved my son today. Literally saved his life in the middle of the pizza place while Anna was next door learning her martial arts knife sequence.
He inhaled a mozzarella stick and the cheese got stuck in his throat for what felt like 10 minutes. In actuality, it was about a one minute ordeal. Ever see a grown, tough-skinned woman cry like a baby? It happens. The owner, a big Greek fella, patted me on the back while I wiped tears and snot from my face with the sandpaper napkin. He pointed to me and he spoke to Lucian.
"It's always the mother," he said to him. "It's always the mother who will save you."
Of course, Lucian's mouth was too full of cheese to respond.
After the ordeal, while we killed time and I tried to regulate my heartbeat through steady breathing and not replaying the scene over and over again in my head, we went for a walk in the cemetery.
I know, I know.
Lucian darted between the old, moss-laden monuments.
"Wow, it was okay for this guy to die. He was 65."
I just nodded, still stricken, looking down at my fancy work shoes sinking into the grass.
"Oh, look at this one. That's so sad. He was only 2. I think this little one here is his brother's grave. How do children die?"
They choke, I wanted to say, they f*cking choke on mozzarella sticks and kill their mothers in the process.
Instead I just nodded my head. "Disease mostly," is what I said.
"It's a good thing you were there to get that cheese out," he said, stopping, finally realizing what had happened to us.
"Mom, if you choke, who will save you?"
I didn't know what to say.
"I won't choke, don't worry."

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