My mother performed countless acts of service at our home. She folded loads of laundry, washed piles of dishes, and held Becky for hours.
She also introduced Johnny to Amazon shopping.
I came into the kitchen one morning and found Johnny at the computer and Mom holding Becky. Mom thought it best to help Johnny start making a Christmas list. They started at the very beginning: Amazon. A very good place to start. I can almost hear Julie Andrews adapting the song Do-Re-Mi for the occasion.
Things started well. With a fabulous remote control car that can break through brick walls and shoot out flames of fire upon acceleration. If you believe the video. Johnny wants one in red. Mom said she’d get one in blue. So they can race. The logistics of said races are murky at this time.
I left the room for a bit to go start some laundry. When I returned, the wheels had completely come off.
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They were watching a video of a backhoe. An actual backhoe. Construction grade. Digging a trench in a field. I told Mom that Amazon sells everything and that she has to be careful. This wasn’t a Tonka truck or a Lego toy. She laughed at the mistake. And told Johnny to put the word Lego in the search bar.
I left the room again. When I came back, Johnny had found the grand champion of Lego construction sets. The video was impressive. But I asked if Mom had thought to look at the cost. She said no but that there were several sets available for immediate purchase. So we clicked on the appropriate button.
$550+. At various sellers. Free shipping!
I told Mom she probably should have started the old fashioned way. With crayon and paper. As I left the room one last time, Johnny was still enthralled at the universe of toy options, paying no attention to me. Mom was laughing hysterically at the series of events, her brown hair shaking rhythmically as her shoulders rose up and down with laughter.
As I climbed the stairs, I muttered under my breath that Amazon is a rabbit hole. And hoped that one-click shipping wasn’t enabled on my account. Because that has happened before. When Johnny ordered an expensive box of art supplies from China. Thankfully, we were able to cancel the shipment.
A few days later, I found Johnny at the computer again, the Amazon banner pulsating with gift suggestions. I asked what he was doing. He looked up, his big blue eyes shining, and said, “Mom, I’m down the rabbit hole.”
I knew then it was time for Mom to go home. And for me to start reading him Alice in Wonderland.