Our house was always the one the kids came to. How many breakfasts of waffles did I make? How many trips to the park did we take? How many Nerf wars battled in these rooms and outside the pale, wooden perimeter? Years and years later, I still find those blue, spongy bullets tucked in corners and hiding among domestic tumbleweeds.
The sleepovers and and get-togethers are less frequent in these late teenage years, but they do happen. Last night my son had friends over. They whooped over video games and a backyard fire pit. This morning they drove themselves to get donuts and we shared laughs in my small, crowded kitchen. I love being a part of their conversations, which normally include musical interests and the mundaneness of high school. I also know to slink away to give them space, as much as is possible in a modest, one-level condo.
But I love the closeness. I wouldn’t have it any other way. There are too many distractions for us to not enjoy the closeness. Everyday I go out on my lanai to watch birds. He doesn’t join me in this. It’s not his thing. But he invites me to walk dogs with him on occasion. We snicker about interesting neighbors. Sometimes we don’t say anything at all.
It’s not easy to catch time with him. If I have just five minutes I am grateful. But there’s never really enough time. I love his company so damn much.
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.