Sunday, August 10, 2014

Report from Pillville: Super(fluous) Moon, Super(collider) Mom, Super(annuating) Me

Super Moon at rest in a bed of clouds
I show my mom the moon, holding onto her as she shuffles out the front door and down our front walk so we can see around our neighbor's house. I know she's going to let out a little shriek so I prepare myself. Yesterday's shriek meant she was on the floor, tipped over with a bump on her head after trying to retrieve something from under her bed. Honestly, I think my adrenaline levels are past any possibility of ever returning to normal, and that's probably the way it's going to be. I do the best I can. Add another yoga class. An extra walk. A little more T'ai Chi Chih. Breathe in. Breathe out. I'm as okay as I'm going to get, I think, for someone who feels threadbare. I'm okay with that. Or as okay as I'm going to get.

The moon is nice when you look at it with your mom who loves the moon. The moon is something different when it shines in your window and onto your bed when you're there with a lover.

Your mom is fabulous when she's the fun mom. When your friends want to come to your house. Your mom is your savior when you're pregnant and she doesn't shame you. She's all you've got when you're in a hospital flat on your back for a month 300 miles from home--and she's there because she's gotten herself a room in a rooming house and she's all you need. She is something different when she's old and she can't hear and you can't hear her because she mumbles and her teeth are loose and her throat is full of phlegm. She's something difficult and dangerous when she can't remember that she's not supposed to pick things up off the floor. But your mom is still your mom and she's superhuman, or so it seems. When you take her out in her pretty earrings, people flock around her like she's a baby in a carriage. They smile and talk and she nods while she looks to you to answer all the questions.

The yacht club across the water had an open house today, and so we drove the less than 1/10th of a mile to get there, made a grand entrance gliding down the handicapped ramp while all the nice yacht club ladies scurried around inside to find the right chair, clear a path to the buffet. "I'm the oldest person here," my mom announced. "Join," the woman who sat down at our table said to me, "You need to get out of the house." My mom swears she will go out to eat with me once a month if I do. There are no monthly dues. Just a minimum to spend. "We can eat and drink that in one night," my mom exclaimed. "Bring her once a month," the woman said. "You come more often."

Yacht. I don't have one. I don't need one, but I might need a yacht club right across the water. Yacht. Every time I hear that word, I think of some article I read ages ago about inner city poor kids and standardized tests. It was one of the words very few of them knew, the article said, citing this as proof of an inherent bias. Since then I've wondered if very rich urban kids could use the word combine as a noun. My mom could use both those words in a sentence. That seems like a marvel to me right now.

AND this morning I have a new post up at Birthmother. Click the link below and to the left if you'd like to read it.


Elizabeth said...

Oh, I love this post. Every single word.

Teresa Evangeline said...

I love this post, too. You are super (human) ... :)

Ms. Moon said...

My great-uncle had a yacht. I'm not kidding.
When I was volunteering in a very rural school in North Florida, I realized the kids (third grade) had no idea what a canoe was. I'm sure they knew a lot of things I didn't, though.
So do you- how to take care of an elderly mother with such grace, for instance.
And the moons shines over us all.

37paddington said...

I know just what you mean about aging mothers who were once superheroes of a sort. It's harder and stranger than I can begin to describe. But you have managed beautifully to capture it here. Thank you.

Taxmom said...

We have friends who bring us to the yacht club up here (up the coast from you) when they are tending bar, and it is the funnest crowd imaginable. And when we were in SF 2 weeks ago we toured the model yacht club in GG park. Venerable institutions both. This was a lovely post.

lily cedar said...

Lovely. You are blessed to have her as your mother, even as difficult as it is right now. You're taking care of yourself which is a very good thing.