As I was writing this, my mother lay on the couch beside me. We are both suckers for holiday movies. You know, the ones where wishes come true or long lost lovers arrive home just in time the holiday feast and all is forgiven or something equally clichéd. I was in tears by the end, while Mom did her “Bah Humbug” imitation, though she wouldn’t let me change the channel.
Earlier, we made sauce and meat-a-balls (her favorite recipe). We both love making the house smell like home. She enjoys cooking and this recipe comes from her own mother. Mom is unable to stand for long, so I pulled a chair up to the stove and she supervised, telling me (of course) I do not use enough salt.
Throughout this day I’ve considered how much she and I have in common. And I’m not just talking about ‘the look’. Can’t count how many times I’ve been told, “When you make that face, you look just like your mother.” And I’m guessing here, but I don’t think this is said as a compliment.
The other night we had a party for her 84th birthday. Pizza, cake and tree decorating back at my brother’s house. Around 9pm, I put on my coat to leave. Mom was adamant I should not drive home alone in the dark. I am 53 years old and yet, she worries about me driving at night (and I hadn’t even had a glass of wine).
I laughed it off and left, but thought – only recently have I stopped calling my own children (all 30-somethings) to remind them to drive carefully on Halloween or the first day of school or to call about impending storms and suggest they give themselves a bit more travel time in the morning. And let’s face it…not calling does not mean I don’t still worry.
Earlier today, driving out to my house we were both shivering in the car. Another thing we have in common is our ‘barely butts’ and a low tolerance for the cold. The seats felt like we were sitting on blocks of ice. I told her “Next time I’ll buy a car with heated seats.”
She turned and gave me ‘the look’. “Goodie, goodie for you and your next car! Right now, my ass is frozen.”