Thursday, September 26, 2013

Phone Contact and Birthdays

My mom’s birthday is coming up, and she is a no-frills sort of person, though deep down I know she doesn’t want us to ignore it. She has repeatedly asked that we not give her flowers or gifts, but I always send a card, even when we’re not on speaking terms. This time around, not only did I send a card, but I also asked the kids to make a special card for her, and they always do an amazing job. You’re really in luck when you get a homemade card from the kids because they do a pretty cool job.

This year my inspiration stemmed from the fact that I recently contacted my mom by phone and it was a very pleasant experience. In the past, virtually without fail, my mom is mean to me when I call, no matter how long the duration between calls. She feels compelled to be vindictive and sarcastic from the minute she answers the phone, and it can be an unpleasant experience. Needless to say, it doesn’t encourage me to make that call, and this time around was no different. To add to the drama, the last time we spoke, she mentioned that she’d like for us to visit her on the west coast and I hedged a bit but said we’d try.

Fast forward several months later with no contact and no visit, and you can imagine my trepidation over making that call. R kept telling me to call her, reasoning that it was the right thing to do, and that I was an adult and needed to deal with it. Besides, for all I knew, she might have changed (fat chance!).

Well, at some point, if figured I had to face the music, so I took the plunge and called her, and you wanna know what? She was very congenial and friendly, and didn’t attack me one bit. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. We chatted for a bit, she asked about the kids, and then she really floored me when she asked me if I was happy. I can honestly say that for my entire adult existence, I cannot recall once when she asked me if I was happy. Growing up, life wasn’t about happy, it was about success and achievement, and doing something with your life. What’s happiness got to do with it?

I told her I was, and she was glad and said that was the most important thing. Wow, R was right, she had changed. The clincher was when we talked about visiting and if it would interfere with the kid’s school, and I told her we homeschooled, expecting shock and disbelief on her part. Again, she floored me when she was supportive, saying that R and I were probably qualified to teach.

Just one surprise after another. I told her we would make sure to visit in the fall, which is not an easy time for us, but I figure it’s important to make some effort in this regard. My mom isn’t getting any younger, and she would get a huge kick out of her grandkids, because in my completely objective and unbiased opinion, they’re pretty cool kids.

Now I have to work on getting out there. Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Mark Mathosian for the pic.

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