There is nothing worse than uncertainty… the phone call that says there may be a problem with your mom but they won’t know until they run a test in the morning. What to do? Drive across the state to sit and wait just in case? Or stay home in hopes that it is nothing. It’s especially troubling when you’re also packing your son to leave in two days for a semester abroad and you are torn. Go be with your mom or stay and get your son off? It’s not a fun or easy decision…it’s one that no one wants to make.
I’ve always been close to my mom, especially since we share a lot of similarities not the least of which is a tremendous love for reading and the beach (and yes, reading at the beach is HEAVEN to both of us!!) My boys will tell you that she is the best cook in the world and that her hoe cakes are the greatest food known to man. My mom never meets a stranger and shares Tim’s love of talking to people. I cannot even begin to count the number of times we’ve been in line at a store and my mom will start a conversation with a total stranger… yes a TOTAL STRANGER people!!
Mom also possesses great genetics. She looks way younger than she is and always has. It was at my very first wedding shower in 1989 in a receiving line at the front door with my mom and Tim’s mom that I learned firsthand what it’s like to have a beautiful, young looking mom. I was talking with a friend during a lull when a woman walked up to my mom and said, “You MUST be the bride!” I spun around so fast my shoulder pads almost flew out my sleeves! My first instinct was to march over there and firmly say that I was the bride but then I noticed my mom. She’d never looked younger or more beautiful as she was laughing and correcting the kind lady. For many years people asked if my mom was my sister and truth be told, I was flattered for her (and I like to think it bodes well for me too…good genes are hereditary, right?!?!)
So in the midst of all this swirling in my mind about should I stay or should I go (name that band….The Clash), I did what I always do in these situations. I called my mom. I knew I’d be able to tell from her voice how she really was and if I needed to go be with her (which I didn’t and she is totally fine!) Yes, I’m thankful for many things this holiday season but at the very top of my list is that I can still pick up the phone and talk with my mom. So if you’re ever in line at a store and a beautiful brunette old enough to be my mom starts talking to you, say hi to my mom for me!!
If there were an elected position for Mayor of the World my husband would win HANDS DOWN!! From the time we started dating until now, whenever (and wherever) we go out to eat Tim always winds up doing what I call “politicking.” Others may call it working the room or meet & greet but no matter what you call it, it is something he had always done. Usually when we enter the restaurant, he’ll tell me what to order him to drink because he realizes that I’m going to make it to the table WAY before him.
Don’t get me wrong, this does not bother me, it simply fascinates me. How does one man know so many people? No lie, we have traveled all around the world and no matter where we go, he runs into someone he knows. We’re not just talking Alabama and South Carolina here but Israel, Greece and Mexico just to name a few. It is really funny when you are walking around thousands of miles from home, and hear someone yell your husband’s name as they run up to hug him. Sometimes I know them but most times I’ve never even heard their name before.
My theory is that Tim is simply what you call a people person and to him life is all about relationships. Much like his mother whose hobby is socializing! Now after 24 years of wedded bliss, I find myself becoming more like him. My youngest and I headed out to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant during Thanksgiving break and I’m sure he thought we were never going to get to our table simply because I kept running into people I hadn’t seen in a while…oops!! They say the longer you are married the more alike you become and frankly I’d consider myself lucky to be like him… well except for the lack of hair and goatee!
(yes these are photos from 1991, yes that is my nephew and yes my husband has a bow on his head….what do you mean that’s not normal??? You must not know MY hubby.)
Do you remember when all these sweaters from the ugly sweater contests were just called Christmas sweaters? I mean, we couldn’t wait for the day after Thanksgiving so that we could begin wearing them. Oh yes, not only did we wear these sweaters in everyday life… we paid good money for them. Yes back in the good old days, we’d put a holiday party on our kitchen wall calendar and immediately begin to think about which Christmas sweater we were going to wear. Would I wear one of the five I own or borrow one from my mother’s even larger stash? No, maybe I’d borrow the amazing lame’ ornament sweater from my mother-in-law…. but only if the party was going to be dressy.
People, back in the 1980’s and 1990’s we wore these sweaters… in everyday life and we wore them with … stirrup pants. GASP!! Yes my friends, we were essentially wearing loose leggings that had elastic loops that wrapped around the bottom of our feet so that we could tuck them into our faux leather pumps. WHAT IN THE WORLD??? I am quite certain somewhere, someone laughed every time he saw women in stirrup pants because, like Rachel’s apartment pants on Friends, they were most likely started as a joke, something that was never meant to be.
Are you picturing this people? Imagine the ugliest Christmas sweater you have ever seen being worn with BRIGHT red stirrup pants and the woman wearing this outfit is not heading to tacky day at school or an ugly sweater party. She was most likely heading to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for turtle cheesecake and chicken divan. Heck, she might have even been headed to the Christmas bridal shower my best friends and I gave where we presented the bride to be with her own custom made Christmas sweatshirt onto which we had sewn crocheted snowflakes, satin ribbon, sequins and pearls. Yes, we were living the dream people. Living. The. Dream.
I’m not sure when it happened, but I know it was many years ago. One day instead of dreading bedtime, I found myself longing for bedtime. Counting the hours and minutes until I could crawl blissfully between the covers and shut out the world. I feel certain this happened around the time my children were born but I can’t be certain. There are many things about those days that are, well, fuzzy to be honest.
I remember the days way back when the boys were little and they were only up for an hour or so after dinner. That little bit of time was taken up with our bedtime ritual. It seemed like as soon as the dinner dishes were cleared, the marathon was on: bath time, the great toy clean up, wrestling them into their pj’s, picking out the bedtime book, prayers, then finally lights out. Ahhhhh…I still remember that feeling like it was yesterday. That beautiful feeling of sitting down for the evening knowing that my job was done, at least for the night. Of course there was still plenty to do around the house but what I then did was of my choosing, no longer dictated by the whims and wants of my adorable little boys. Some nights lots got done and others nights…well, books got read and rest happened.
It’s funny that I remember the hustle and bustle of bedtime when my boys have been out of that routine for so very long. Maybe it’s all the Halloween costumes posted online that make me feel nostalgic for the days gone by. Days when my boys were small enough to fit in my lap, little enough to run across the yard and jump into my arms, days when they would fall asleep on my shoulder after insisting they were not tired. It’s enough to make me want to go back to those days and do it all again…Nah! Who am I kidding? I loved them then, but I think I love them even more now… now that they can dress, feed and clothe themselves.
I’ll never be nominated as mother of the year but then again, who needs some silly trophy that requires cleaning when I’ve got three living breathing reminders of where we’ve been and where we are! Yes, this much you can be sure of, I love my boys… my just about fully grown, almost supporting themselves, handsome, intelligent boys.