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October 19, 2004

My mother's daughter...

Over the years here, I've detailed various aspects of my relationship with my mom. It hasn't always been pretty or flattering for either of us. I can pretty much say anything I want to here because I know my mom will never read it and you, dear reader, do not know my mom and, therefore, could not tell her what I said. Yup, I have free rein to speak my mind and let all the anger, resentment and disappointment out, every last bitter drop of it. I've been known to do it, too, though it usually comes out in the form of a poem, like this or this or this ... lots of material to work from.

Something's changed, though. Last weekend scared me. After getting the frightened, teary phone call Saturday morning, our roles were suddenly reversed. I found myself having to act as the calm, responsible grownup to her frightened, irrational child. I reassured, placated, and finally convinced her that staying overnight in the hospital really was the best thing for her. For a few more days, I was hovering over her, ever the dutiful daughter, and I didn't resent it. I just knew she needed me and I had to be there for her. I rearranged my schedule, spent hours making small talk, made sure she was comfortable and following doctor's orders which, let me tell you, was not easy since she was starting to act rebellious. No, she didn't take her medicine, she didn't need it. Yes, she was tearing apart frames and reframing some of her artwork because it needed to be done. Yes, she was doing housework ... did I want her house to be messy? Frankly, I didn't care about what she thought needed to be done ... all I cared about was getting her healthy but she wasn't helping matters any. Trust me, if I could have put her in time out, I would have.

A week after her hospital scare, she was back to her old self, doing too much and not taking care of herself ... and complaining that I was driving her nuts. I took her cue and backed off a little, not calling as many times during the day as I had been. Granted, I was also busier and didn't have the time to call between technology workshops and a formal observation at work (results tomorrow, cross your fingers) and trips to Clayton but I did try to call from work at least once a day ... she compensated by calling me every couple of hours, asking what I was doing.

Yup, we were almost back to normal. Until last night anyway.

Yesterday, we had Parent/Teacher conferences at my school and my schedule was 12:30 - 7:30. Great on the front end since I could sleep late but the back end of it really hurt. Normally, I ask my mom to take the kids while I have workdays but, this time, I told her they would come with me. Since I'm the Media Coordinator, I explained, most parents don't need to come see me and I can stay in my office and work all day in peace. The day went pretty much as planned ... I made paper airplanes with a bunch of 4th and 5th graders and we had a contest to see whose went the furthest ... we had sandwiches from the PTA for dinner ... we pulled out the DVD player into my office and watched Invader Zim (DVD 3 arrived yesterday! Woo!) and generally had a good old time.

Colonel, our AP, was kicking us out at 7:30 but it took my kids and I until close to 8 to finish up and get out of here. When we went out to the car, the battery was a little sluggish so we decided to take a joyride around town to charge it. About 8:45, we pull into the driveway and get in the house. The kids immediately flop down on the couch to continue watching Invader Zim and I sat at my computer to touch base and check email. No sooner than we had our shoes off, the phone rang.

"Hi. You're home! Did you get my message?"

Mom apparently had been called the house since 6:30, when she locked herself out of the house. She was calling from a neighbor's house and, frankly, she was lucky that I even picked up the phone since it came up Private Caller. APparently, she was taking some paintings to a meeting that she really didn't want to go to and she went out to her car, locking the door behind her, mistakenly thinking she had her keys in her hand. She wne to the neighbor's house and called my house, knowing I was at work, and sat to wait.

Why she didn't call the school, I don't know, especially since I have a phone in my office.

Why she didn't call my cell phone, I don't know, especially since I HAD my cell phone with me in my office and usually, when I don't answer the house phone, she'll immediately call my cell phone.

No, she sat for hours waiting for me to come over her house and unlock her door. Meanwhile, I had just driven around the city for 45 minutes and passed my her neighborhood.

Do you see where I'm going?

She said she didn't call me at work because she was afraid that she would interrupt me while I was meeting with parents.

I reminded her that I had already told her that I wasn't meeting with any parents.

She claimed she didn't know my cell phone number ... how she can call me so much on a phone and NOT know the number is beyond me.

When I got to her house, they were standing ourside waiting. I unlocked her door and looked on the key hook in the kitchen ... there were her keys, just as she had left them, while she swore they were in her hand when she left.

I'm not usually an alarmist but I can see a trend. This isn't the first time but it's the first time I've taken it seriously and, frankly, it's scaring the shit out of me.

I will never be able to leave her to take care of herself or my kids ... not to go on a weekend, not for an overnight, possibly not even for the afternoon.

I will never again be able to go a couple of days without hearing from her without fearing the worst.

I have yet another responsibility that ties me to North Carolina.

I am alone in this, the only child here to watch over her.

And I am all she has.

I am trying very hard not to resent this. I am not doing very well.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Prosemonkey published on October 19, 2004 2:18 PM.

Listening to... was the previous entry in this blog.

But it's a good tired is the next entry in this blog.

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