For once, I’m not writing fiction.
My mother was in town this past weekend. This move has been challenging; Xander and Katja have both been sick, the dog and cat are having a hard time adapting, and we needed a lot of help this weekend to move the piano and big pieces of furniture. A couple of people we were expecting to help didn’t show up. My mom, however, offered to come and babysit Katja while we moved.
It helped. It helped more than I can really express, which is slightly embarrassing for a self-styled wordsmith.
My mom has been there at odd times, but when all else fails, I call her, even if it’s only for someone to talk to while the world crumbles.
In college, I had a huge paper due and an awful case of writer’s block. I woke up my mom at some weird hour asking her to talk to me about abortion, which was the subject of the paper. She calmly helped me on it and I didn’t realize until later that being awakened in the middle of the night by your daughter wanting to talk about abortion with no context was probably not the easiest moment.
I talked to her about rights for people with disabilities when I was dealing with that a lot. I talked to her about infertility and adoption.
When Katja was born and spent days in the NICU, during the time that Xander and I had to work out a lot of last-minute pieces with Katja’s biological family, my mom showed up. She sat with Katja, held her, and fed her. She took shifts when we couldn’t. All we wanted to do was be with our baby, but to be able to take her home, we had to get other things done, too. My mom made friends with the nurses (well, most of them) and let us deal with the necessities, knowing that our little girl was under the watchful and loving eye of her grandma.
We don’t always agree. We don’t always get along. We have certainly had our differences, which is to be expected. When it comes down to it, though, when there is need, I can call my mom. If she can help, she will. Not to say the rest of my family won’t, of course. I’m just saying that this week it’s very important to me to recognize that she simply does what is needed. No fuss, no drama. She’s just there. I really appreciate that.
I gave Cameron this prompt: I’m cuckoo for copepods. – Bill Nye