We headed back to Youngstown on Saturday morning. We arrived at my mom’s mid-afternoon. She was surprised and delighted to see us. I knew I should have called to remind her we were coming, but I got caught up having fun with the boys.
We had lunch at one of my favorite local lunch spots, Inner Circle Pizza. Our waiter was a nice kid who was about to wrap up his psychology degree at YSU. I briefly fell back into my old professor role, talking to him about his career plans and offering some advice about graduate school (“don’t go to graduate school until you have some experience in the work world”).
Afterwards, we headed to the playground at Boardman Park that the kids love. I talked to mom for a long while as the kids played. We talked about my trip and the RV trips we took when I was a kid. We talked about some work she had done at the house.
She again talked about moving to NJ and selling the house. I know that this is probably — outside of the decision to divorce my father — the hardest decision she has ever made. I rue the day that I will be forced to make a similar decision. I am trying to keep this thought in the forefront of my mind as she bounces from saying that she wants to move one moment to talking about how swell things are going the next. It feels like I am watching a cage fight to the death between the part of brain that recognizes she is struggling and needs some assistance (and wants to be closer to family) and the part that doesn’t want to acknowledge that reality. It is difficult to watch.
Eventually, the boys tired of playing in the summer heat. We debated in the car where to go to eat. Lucas wanted Chinese, but we had just been to a Japanese Steakhouse so I rejected that idea. Lucas proposed Mexican “because Mexican is far from China.”
We eventually agreed to go to the new crab restaurant in Boardman that all of us liked on our initial trip to town. One the trip to dinner, I mentioned I couldn’t remember the name of the restaurant.
Will: It is called “Storming Crab.”
Me: That is ridiculous. It isn’t called Storming Crab. That doesn’t even make sense.
Will: That is what it is called.
Me: No, it is not. I will bet you your $100 bill that it isn’t called that.
Me: You understand that I get your $100 if it is called anything but Storming Crab. I get every other name in the universe.
Me: You better be pretty certain then.
Will: I am.
Me: I think it is called Crab in a Bag (all the entrees come in a bag),
Both Boys: That is ridiculous! No one would call a restaurant “Crab in a Bag.” No one would eat there. It sounds disgusting.
Me: Well, it isn’t Storming Crab.
Will: Yes, it is.
Me: Ok, let’s bet, but I don’t want to take you $100 bill because I know you are wrong and unless you are 99.999% certain it doesn’t make sense for you to bet on one name when I get every other name in the universe. How about we make an asymmetric bet where you get $20 if you are right and I only get $5 if you are wrong?
Will: Ok (resignedly), but I AM RIGHT.
Lucas: I believe Will because I promised to do anything he asked me to do today and I keep my word.
Me: Ok, I am going to give you $100, but you have to give Lucas $20 because he kept his word to you.
No (genetically-related) Wagmiller should ever bet on his (or her) memory!
Back at my mom’s, the boys showed her the cork board map of the US that Jenny bought us for the trip and we used to mark the major places we stopped at. Will asked that I record the video below.