0

Headline News: 60 Year Old Woman Discovers Mother Not Crazy

Headline News: 60 Year Old Woman Discovers Mother Not Crazy
Mothers…half the time you push against their demanding expectations, a third of the time you think they are half looney, and about one fifth of the time you are totally on the same wave length and it’s smooth sailing.
__________
My mother will be 86 in June.  She was a war bride, marrying at the tender age of 18, when she moved from California  to live close to my fathers family in Arkansas.  Talk about cultural differences!
__________
My mother is actually quite bright, but was kept under a repressive thumb most of her adult life. It wasn’t until my father passed away seven years ago that my mother actually discovered her own voice, who she was as Helen.  She began to adventure places my father would never go, socialize with people that lived in her community but had not really “met” and began a journey of self discovery, identifying her own opinions, and coming to terms that it was ok to have an opinion that is different from someone else’s.
__________
When mom starts repeating the same story for fifth time, I remind myself she is takes joy in the story and remembering what it felt like being with her friend or adventure (which could be winning $1.50 at bingo).  I also gently probe her about her girlhood, life as a teenager during the war and depression, and even the forbidden conversation of her over-bearing mother-in-law (who happened to be the grandmother I adored).
__________
Checking under my bed for dust bunnies, and the refrigerator for expiration dates where quite common all through my own early bride days, and still continue 38 years later.  My mother remains quite curious about my organizational skills, weight, food preparation and alcohol consumption. While it feels like judgment each time she does one of these things, I’ve come to understand she is validating what kind of a job she did raising me, and her role as mother.
__________
This Sunday is Mothers Day. My mother lives 1,500 miles away, so we will chat on the phone.  We will talk about what she did this past week, who she saw, where and what she ate.  The yard will be discussed and the how having no rain is impacting her fruit trees.  I expect the sqwaking ducks to come up in the conversation. My mom will tell me about her upcoming trip to Alaska (she always dreamed of travel…it took her 86 years to do it). We will talk about the adventures she wants to take and she will dream out loud of things she wants to do.
__________
I will tell my mother I love her. I’ll mention that her careful attention to detail in my life helped form the kind of mother I am. I will tell her how proud I am that she is living the life she wants and doing things that bring her joy. I will honor her by listening carefully to what she is saying, and not hurring the conversation. I will share with her a behavior she taught me that I valued enough to pass along to my daughters. This Sunday we will celebrate her as an individual, as mom, and grandmom.
__________
Monday….things are back to normal, eyes will roll, and I’ll be defending the extra glass of wine, the kleenex stuck between the cushions of the sofa, and even not knowing what my adult children are doing that week or weekend.  I’ll lick the spoon,  not rinse before placing the plate in the dishwasher, and yes, even go out in public “looking like that”.
__________
But Sunday, this Sunday, it’s her special day.  My mother is priceless, and I wouldn’t trade her for anything!

Related Posts

Comments are closed.