“It’s 13 degrees in Chicago today.”
Mom sits in the recliner with her cup of coffee, catching up on the most important items on her agenda – including the weather in a city 800 miles away. Out the window, the January Virginia drizzle seems to make even the inside feel damp.
My sister has no idea, as she steps out onto the sidewalk in her parka, balaclava, mittens, and boots, that Mom is thinking about her right then. Her mundane trek onto the L, watching bricks whizz by the window as strangers shuffle for seats, is special to someone.
As anyone who reads this blog knows, I’m new to the mom thing, and in many ways, it’s not my jam. I love my son, but the momminess of it all is like putting on a wetsuit when you hate water. Watching my own mother, I accept that her ability to sweep the floor, do the dishes, and javel Dad’s requests about the minutia of various client accounts are things that don’t define her – it’s just stuff life asked her to do in the midst of what she wanted – and she’s really good at it. I’ve accepted I’ll probably grow into that level of proficiency too.
And then I realize she quietly tracks the details of our days. What’s the weather like when we leave for work? What’s it like on our lunch break? What’s the headline on our local news?
She’s a pro at loving.
At dinner last night, our friends talked about calling our parents. The girls ranged somewhere between three times a week to three times a day.
The guys? “Once a month maybe. What is there to talk about?”
Duck. I have a son.
I’m going to spend the next 25 years learning how to love and connect with him through each stage. I’ll strain my perspectives to see things from his eyes enough for him to consider me relevant. At some point, I’ll only know the details about his life by watching his news, checking his weather, and once in a while getting a call that confirms his life is still “mundane” (to him). His life will never be mundane to me.
Until then, the next time I step outside into the 60 degree Florida winter, before pouting at how dirty the car is, I need to remember someone’s thinking about me, and every moment of mine is special for them.