essays

Playing the Mom Game    

chicken saladIt has been a while since I’ve been with Mom, the greater part of continental United States being between New Mexico and Connecticut, winter weather and work. But I am here now and trying to make up for the several months apart.

Mom’s eyesight and hearing have deteriorated more, but she knows everything in her own environment, and I swear I can’t do anything “unusual” and get away with it. Between attempting to “be there” for her lurchings about and picking up what scitters across counters and tables and on to the floor and following instructions in regard to lights on and off, doors open and closed, heat up or down, shades up or down, and the need to go for groceries, catch up on the local birdlife and prepare meals, I’m pretty busy. 

Mom was up and in the kitchen before me this morning. In fact, once I got there, she kept me so busy that I didn’t get my breakfast until around 11:00 am when I was told it was too late to eat breakfast, and didn’t I want a cookie. At 11:38 it was time to get out the apple sauce, mayonnaise, bread and chicken for her quarter sandwich. She eats cookies all day sherrylong, but real meals have to be  prompt, as in 20 minutes before the scheduled hour for them. We begin discussion about the next meal right after the last one is put away. 

After lunch Mom declared it was time for “our” nap.  I could put off the other tasks she had assigned me such as looking for certain trousers in the attic, changing light bulbs, and ordering replacement sweaters until tomorrow. Her nap didn’t last long and mine didn’t really get started. At three pm, Mom was ready to “get dressed” to go to the Club for dinner.  “Mom, it’s only three pm.”  “We need to be on time, dear.”  “Mom, the dining room doesn’t open until six pm.”  “Well I have to get there and sign you in.”  “Mom, they know who I am.  They don’t give a hoot about whether or not you sign me in.”  “Well, those are the rules, dear. We have to sign you in.”

We arrive at the Club.  A glass of sherry is already at Mom’s place at the table.  Mom gets right in to trying to clink glasses (only I don’t have one) salmon dinnercheering me and slogging it down.  “Mom I don’t even have a glass of water to clink glasses with.”  “Well dear don’t drink too much as you have to drive, you know.”  “Mom, you are already worried about my drinking too much and driving home!  We just got here.”  The waiter comes over and is about to say something.  “I’ll have halibut” says Mom. “Mom this guy is here to see if I want a drink.”  “Yes, dear, don’t drink too much. You have to drive.” “Mom!” “Sir, would you be willing to drive Mom home if I have a drink?” “Oh certainly, I’d be delighted.”  “There Mom. We’re all set.”  “I’ll have halibut.  Is it good?  Where’s the chef?”  A few minutes and a few bites later, she starts hunting for her cane and wrestling with her coat.  “We’ll have dessert at home. We have cookies.”  “Fine Mom. Do you mind if I finish my salmon?”  “Oh yes, finish it.”  “Shall I box it for you?” the waiter asks.  “We don’t take fish home,” Mom replies before I can swallow a forkful of salmon.

Lucy Noyes is co-founder of La Puerta Real Estate Services, LLC, 505-867-3388 outside Albuquerque, New Mexico and has a million stories in her head, just waiting to get out.

Got a 400 word essay you'd like to contribute? Click here.

2006-2013 ConceptDesign, Inc. Terms of Use
BoomSpeak - For babyboomers - by babyboomers.