Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed. Linda Wooten
With Mother’s day approaching, I want to set the record straight. You might think with all of the wonderful things that I said about my Mother that we had an idyllic relationship. Well no, we drove each other crazy at times just like all Mother and Daughters.
My biggest bone of contention with her was that she had an expectation that I would phone her every time after I dropped her off to let her know that I arrived home safely. She literally lived a ten minute drive from my place, and even though I was in my fifties I had to call to let her know that I arrived home. I must have told her at least a million times that this was ridiculous, that no other 50 year old woman I knew had to call their mother to let them know that they arrived home. I asked her what she expected would happen to me on the way home.
“Well, you just never know people nowadays”, she would say.
“I am in a locked car Mom, what are people going to do with me?”
But alas, it all fell on deaf ears. If I forgot, she would call my home to see if I arrived. Sometimes, I would hand the phone off to my husband.
He would say, “Gee no mom, haven’t seen her yet. Thought she was with you, but I did hear that there was a bad accident on the deerfoot”.
“Oh go blow she would tell him, let me talk to her”.
I think it was her way of showing me she was still the parent, and that she loved me.
It made me wonder at whether I too was crazy. And the answer was a glaring, “Yep sure was.”
When I thought about it the moments that stood out where oddly, usually centered on cars & underwear.
You see my kids were unfortunately teens when the thong was invented for girls, and the boxer shorts worn higher than your jeans were popular for the boys. Underwear became a bit of an obsession for me.
“Why on earth would you want to wear nothing more than a string?”
“Fine you can wear them but if I see them above your low rise jeans, we are going back to normal underwear.”
“I don’t care if you can see panty lines; you need to wear full underwear under white pants.” I was an expert on this as I had taken a two hour course once on what color hosiery you wore with certain shoes, after all. My training also included the type of underwear you wore with certain colors. I didn’t really remember if in fact you were supposed to wear full underwear under white pants, but I was after all an expert on underwear etiquette.
“Pull up your pants, if you want so desperately for people to see your boxers why don’t you just wear them without jeans. “
But Cars, they were nearly the death of me. When my son got his driver’s license, he took the test in an automatic. Then when it came time to get a vehicle, he wanted to purchase a standard. Well this was enough to drive me over the edge. I sat in the passenger seat as he drove the standard, but I wouldn’t let him leave the block. He could not even get up enough speed to change to second gear, but this was okay with me, we were after all mastering first gear.
And then my husband said, “You know if he wants to learn standard you might actually have to let him get up enough speed to change gears. Perhaps you need to leave the block”.
Hmm, Traitor – well I wasn’t counting on this. So we ventured a little further. Once he had mastered driving a standard better than I could, I made him drive to his school over and over again for an entire weekend. And then he was off, but this wasn’t enough for me either.
I then put in place a rule where he had to call me as he reached every destination. And he was also not allowed to use his cell phone while driving.
And then I would plan my sneak attacks, calling his cell phone when I knew he would be driving. If he picked up the call, he was in deep trouble.
When my daughter started driving, I was a little more relaxed. Had that crazy reigned in a bit? Except for the fact that she was driving the family car that was a pure lemon. It caused me problems all the time, that car and I had a very tumultuous relationship. But it never gave her the least bit of a problem. It safely took her from one destination to the next. My heart would lurch every time I saw her behind the wheel of that nemesis of mine.
As their teenage hood came to an end, my son and I drove home from a visit at my daughter’s university. We were in an accident that essentially wrote off the vehicle. We called AMA to pick us and the dead car up and travelled home. I thought it was fitting that as we unloaded the dead car at its destination and gathered the things from the car, I should find none other than a bra tucked into the pocket of the back seat.
Teenage hood was over, and these were my souvenirs of my years of crazy, the car and the underwear. Jury is still out on why the bra was there, but some stories are just too soon to delve into. Thankfully, we survived and my kids still talk to me.
It reminds me that we need to cut our Mom’s a little slack, chances are the reason you have disagreements with her are over things that involve your safety and wellbeing. She may in fact be crazy, but it is more likely that she is crazy in love with you.
And there might come a day, when you are fifty something and want to call her to let her know you made it home okay.
Happy Mother’s Day to all!