There's this book I used to read my kids called "Are You My Mother?" In it a squawky-looking bird falls out of his nest and goes looking for his mother so he can find his home. It's the kind of book young children love and parents find a little repetitive since the bird has to find the wrong thing over and over before he finds the right thing, saying, is this his mother? Is that his mother? Is the steam shovel his mother? The kids love it because most of the things the bird questions are very obviously not his mother so they get to yell out a resounding, "No!" each time.
Fun, I guess, unless you happened to have misplaced your mother, as I have.
February 6th she went gallivanting off with Stepfather, bound for South America on a Holland America cruise. That day sister number one got a phone call. They were on the ship resting and they would be sailing shortly. After that? No word.
So I'm like that squawky bird, faintly irritable, looking for my mother.
I get somewhere early and am waiting in my car so I think, hmmm, I've got a bit of a wait; should I call my mom? Or I gather up tidbits of news and I think, I need to tell my mom about this. I think I'll give her a call. Or I get home, plop on my bed, the phone nearby, and I think, okay, time to give mom her daily call.
But maybe it's about time I faced the fact that it's not really her daily call at all - it's my daily call. Because I end up calling everyone else - just like the bird in the book - is this sister my mother? Is Husband my mother? Who will fill in during the cruise month? Who wants to hear all my stupid crap, the odds and ends, the accumulated junk that only a mother could be interest in?
I'm not the only one feeling vaguely disoriented. First there were some inquiry-type emails going back and forth among the other members of our seven sister litter. Then we started getting alarmed. I had a vague concern about the boatload of senior citizens marooned in South America, perhaps all completely computer illiterate, all arriving in the ship's "Internet Cafe" and wondering how they could order some Folger's.
Finally, at sixteen dollars a minute, one of the twins got a message to her, attached as the greeting to the manicure she had to purchase just to communicate at all. Then our mother called. She left a message. They're having a great time. They're rounding the tip of Peru. Don't call back.
How annoying is it when you miss someone and they don't miss you? Or you are missed but you're having too much fun to think? Do you save up conversational odds and ends for certain people? Have you read this book to your kids?