Tag Archives: Moms

I Want My Mommy

I felt it coming on during the Memorial Day pool party Monday afternoon. Seems as soon as one of my neighbors announced he had a cold and wasn’t feeling well my sinuses began to clog.

I don’t get sick very often. Take my vitamins. Eat healthy. Work out. Wash my hands like an OCD sufferer.

During this month alone I nursed my son through conjunctivitis and the flu. Then my husband through Shingles (meaning I sequestered him to the guest room and occasionally brought him tea). And then through a series of surgeries which had me applying ice patches, eye drops, administering meds, draining fluids and recording them, and holding a bucket for him to pee in. And let’s not forget enduring the moaning and groaning.

I could have made a pretty damn good nurse.

But now the nurse needs a nurse. And no matter how much my husband and son try to help they cannot live up to the high standards of the one who nursed me through countless bouts of strep throat and a few horrendous stomach bugs as a child.

I want my mommy!

As I sit here on the stained recliner I finally regained command over I am overwhelmed with a craving for Mom’s sweet, soft southern voice. And some bacon, eggs, and biscuits. I can see her now, dashing about the house in her muumuu, carrying a box of Kleenex, a thermometer, and a recycled plastic honey bear filled with ice-cold orange juice.

But right now she is in her condo. A mere fifteen minutes away but still. Probably in her muumuu, sipping coffee and watching some network morning show. I texted her I wasn’t feeling well and of course she replied she’d be available if I needed help. Then she added the emoticon with the kissy lips. I instantly felt a small surge of healing.

Still want that biscuit though.



Filed under Yep I'm Becoming My Mother

Harry Connick Jr. and a Bubble Bath

I remember the loneliest of Valentine’s Days. I was in high school and just been dumped by a boy I adored greatly. This was one of two boyfriends my mom ever liked, so she was a bit heartbroken too.

I must have trudged through that day with a scowl on my face, watching all the couples holding hands in the halls. I’m sure I made some cynical remarks to my poet friends (what other friends were there, really?) about the absurdity of Valentine’s Day. I probably talked about how all it did was make us single, busted hearted people feel more alone and gave everyone expectations not even the prettiest of couples could live up to. At least that’s what we imagined as we saw the two most popular kids, both gorgeous, both from well-off families, both athletic, and well liked by all the staff skipping down the hall like in a slow-mo coming-of-age rom-com montage.

Cue pantomime gagging.

So the school day ended and it became early evening. No date night for me. No phone call (from a dial-tone phone with a swirly cord). No flowers delivered. No love note. No pinch on the bum. No soft kiss on the lips.

My mom suggested I take a bath.

“Baths always make me feel better,” she said half-reassuringly and half cocky. She was the bath expert. At sixty-five years old I think she’s maybe taken two showers in her life. We even switched motels once on a family road trip because they didn’t have bath tubs. Or it could have been because the beds looked like they’d been slept in by a hobo. Anyway, the woman loves baths.

Since my mom had a walk-around-the-upstairs-naked-while-getting-ready mantra, it was no big deal for her to see me soaking in the tub in all my slight baby-fat nakedness. She made sure there were bubbles. She brought three floral-scented candles, placed them at the edge of the tub, and lit them. She brought my boom-box into the bathroom and together we picked out my Harry Connick Jr. CD. She gave me a knowing look and left me by myself to wallow in my lovelorn misery.

Oh, if only Harry Connick were here to serenade me in person. If only Keanu Reeves would knock on my door and ask to use the restroom. If that heartbreaker of a boyfriend would have stayed a little longer. But alas, none were meant to be.

As the suds saturated my soft, fair skin and my heart cried a little, I realized I was OK. I was still breathing. I was with the only person who truly knew me at the time– myself. I wasn’t in a horrible relationship. I wasn’t making compromises. I was encased in warm water, safe, listening to gorgeous melodies. And although my mom and I had it out a time or a thousand during my teenage years, that night she came to my rescue. She showed me a kind of love that is not as passing as the late winter wind.

I can only hope to be that safe harbor in my son’s life one day when his heart gets broken.



Filed under Yep I'm Becoming My Mother

Left-hand Turns and other Driving Displeasures

Our family car in the mid '80's. Why am I the only one NOT wearing flip flops?

Our family car in the mid ’80’s. Why am I the only one NOT wearing flip flops?

From the backseat of our car the other day my nine-year-old son loudly stated, “You’re becoming your mother.”  I knew exactly what he was talking about.  We were trying to make a left-hand turn into non-stop traffic as a line of cars behind us became increasingly impatient.  “I hate these left-hand turns!” I cried out before my son made his unquestionable statement.  These were the words I heard repeatedly from my mother in the 80’s and 90’s, although she said it with a bit more exasperation and defeat.  “Oh I HATE these left-hand tuuurns! I’m NEVER gonna get outta heeeeere!” It used to annoy the crap out of me because she was so dramatic and aggravated about it.  But now that I’m older and an experienced driver, I completely understand.

Mom's preferred place in the car-- the passenger's seat.

Mom’s preferred place in the car– the passenger’s seat.

My brother and I would make fun of her, and to this day it is an ongoing joke.  We mimic that sentence that is still lingering somewhere over the streets of Antioch, Tennessee.  Even she laughs about it now.  It’s become one of those family inside-jokes that’s still alive with the next generation.  So when my son hears me say those exact words in a real-life situation, well he is smart enough to know it resembles the frustrated expression of Grandma.

Another thing that annoyed my mom on the road was the incompetence of drivers from a certain county.  Anytime a driver did something idiotic, like pull in front of us, or slam on brakes, or stop in the middle of the road for no apparent reason, my mom got a good look at the license plate.  And lo and behold, they were always from the same county.  “Rutherford County, I knew it!” She screamed in annoyed confidence.  They did seem to be the worst drivers on the street.  That was also the county were my mom was born and raised.

The only "vehicle" my Granny drives. Notice my parent's Lucerne in the background.

The only “vehicle” my granny drives. Notice my parent’s Lucerne in the background.

I don’t notice any particular county in The Tampa Bay area of Florida (where I reside now) that fosters incompetent drivers, although if you see a Toyota Camry or Buick Lucerne swerving about, pulling out into oncoming traffic, or going 10 miles an hour, you can bet the driver is at least 75 years old. And when this does happen you will hear me say, “Great-grandma Myrtle—I knew it!”

My grandma (born, raised, and still living in Rutherford County) has never driven a day in her life.  My mom won’t drive on interstates.  I’ve taken 600 mile road trips by myself on several occasions.  So with each generation comes more driving confidence.  But when I start getting cocky my mom always reminds me of the time I was just learning to drive and nearly crashed our minivan into a median.

My first car. Zero accidents. One break down. Two speeding tickets.

My first car. Zero accidents. One break down. Two speeding tickets.

I yelled through hormonal teenage tears, “I’m never driving again!”  My mom sternly looked me in the eyes and said, “Yes you will, Jenifer!  You have to.”  In her own shaky driving self-confidence she knew her daughter could not be scared like her or her own mother.  And I’m glad she said that to me that day.  Because I might not have had the displeasure of hating left-hand turns just like her.

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Filed under Yep I'm Becoming My Mother