It is said that my mother taught me about weather, “It looks as if a tornado swept through your room!”
This week I found out that my mother is planning on calling a cab to her house at 3am in the morning. One of my cousins is getting married in New York and she plans to take a cab to the hotel near her home to catch the commute bus to the airport. I think it is great that she is so active at 78, but if I told her that I was calling a stranger to my door at 3:00am she’d comment with one of her famous quotes like, “What were you thinking when you thought this was a good idea?”
I was thinking of a ride, mom.
I volunteered to go to her house, stay the night and get up at 3:00am to be her taxi.
When I arrive to stay the night, stew is cooking on the stove as the smell of all day home cooking fills the room, making me feel spoiled before I give her a hug. Her petite frame stands over the kitchen counter as she reviews her latest Irish catalog. Soda bread rests on the counter, a martini next to the stove. I collapse across from her on a bar stool, just like I always did growing up. She reaches for a wine glass and pours me a glass of wine.
I love watching her. She pushes the Irish catalog over to me as we eye the Gaelic jewelry. She is already thinking of my Christmas gift. Hell, I haven’t even shopped for Brian’s school stuff yet. I enjoy the moment and show her the watches I like. We talk of Ireland and travel. Funny how we still enjoy being the center of our parent’s attention – even at my age.
Suddenly at 8:30, I feel exhausted. I retire to the spare room to dress for bed. You’d swear my mother spent time in the military for the way her beds are made. It is this perfect origami of sheets and blankets combined with the fresh scent of outdoors – like bedding should.
I pause for a moment to smell the pillows. My old rag dolls grin up at me. Their imaginary voices fill my head. They are glad to see me home. I decide to lay on the bed and hug my old favorite doll. The next thing I know I awake to a dark room. For a minute I can’t figure out where I am. It dawns on me that I fell asleep. At some point my mother covered me up and turned the lights out. I am still curled around my old rag doll. Somehow the sight of her 46 year old daughter in bed with her rag doll doesn’t seem to phase her.
It is the best nights sleep I have had in years. My mother gently shakes me awake at 2:45. So much for taking care of her. I get up, throw on my sweats and place her luggage in the back of the truck. It looks as if she has been up for hours. I see her off on her bus and drive back to her home. I could have returned to my place, but I still wanted to languish a little longer in the feelings of security I experience in her home.
I slept until 11:00 and brought one doll back home with me.
I guess we never really do grow up all the way.
Until next time –
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