E S S A Y My mother loved to grow things, house plants, roses, Sweet Peas, tomatoes, peppers—all kinds of things. She tenderly watered the plants, standing over them, removing dead leaves and otherwise fussing over them.
This behavior was closely observed by my younger brother—the imp, rapscallion, and court jester of the family. We summered at our cottage for July and August, but sometimes stayed up at the city house. We grew up in a more permissible time. My brother thought nothing of rowing our boat, with a friend, down the river from the cottage and camping overnight, when he was only 12. When he was 13, somehow he got together with a girlfriend, borrowed a car, and drove to Burlington, Vermont, where drinking, skinny-dipping, and other naughty pastimes ensued. I assure you that the driving age in Massachusetts was never 13. Why my parents didn’t know where he was at age 13 for several days, I don’t know. Actually, perhaps my older brother and I, aged 19 and 17 respectively, were supposed to be watching him.
Okay, I do know . . .
The court jester had hoodwinked my mother into watering his plants at the cottage while he was at our city house, being “watched” by my older brother and me. My mother, being the kind soul that she was, dutifully watered those tomato plants (really? A 13 year old, not from Iowa or some farm place, has tomato plants?) The plants grew tall and strong and lovely.
One day, my mother had a cookout for some of her friends at the cottage. They were chatting and eating, admiring our plant life, and having a great time. That is until one of my mom’s friends, the cop, said “Emmy! What are you doing with a crop of marijuana plants?”
Lavinia M. Hughes lives in East Falmouth, MA and now knows how to recognize a marijuana plant.