December 2009 We are getting ready for the Forced March to Sly and Doris' house. Primo asks if I am going to give his mother some of the pear jam I made from the pears from the tree in our back yard.
After we moved in, we had the tree pruned (probably for the first time in years) and sprayed it against brown spot. I took a canning class, bought used canning equipment from a couple I found on Craigslist (they were downsizing and she sold the supplies to me because I was the potential buyer who seemed most sincerely interested in canning), and spent many hot hours cutting, boiling and canning those pears.
Now we have way more jam than we could ever eat, but it is better than letting the pears go to waste. It has been a labor of love. My intention was always to give the extra jam away. To people I care about.
Primo: Are you going to take some pear jam for my mom?
Primo: Why not?
Me: Because it's all designated already.
Primo: For whom?
Me: My sister. My mom. My aunts. Patrick and Ilene. Other people.
Primo: Why not my mom?
Me: We're giving your mom and dad new knives!
Primo: But my mom likes jam! You gave me jam to take to Mrs D [his ex mother in law] and you've never even met her.
Me: Well I thought you should take her something and she sounds like such a nice lady.*
Primo: I could have taken her cheese curds.
Me: Cheese curds aren't special.
Primo: My mom doesn't deserve something special?
Me: We're paying $500 to fly there and spend vacation days cleaning out their garage and fridge and cat box!
Primo: I know. I'm just messing with you.
What I don't say to Primo is that I do not want to give his mother anything personal. That she does not deserve a personal gift from me - something that has so much of my time in it. That I don't want to give her anything from my heart because there is nothing for her in my heart. I think he knows.
* Primo's ex mother in law, Bertha's mother, loves Primo. Always did, always will. Primo calls her and goes to see her when he can. She has chastised Bertha for letting Primo get away. Apparently, she knows her daughter inside and out.