Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Entrer s'il vous plaît

At first I thought the wind blew the door open but it was a different force of nature. My Mother. Her hands were trying to catch the contents of her spilling purse and in the midst of not catching one thing, she fell. I wasn’t startled. She has been making entrances like this for my whole life, they’re done with a little less grace now that she’s older but it is what it is, Mom is here. I didn’t hear anything break so I poured her a cup of coffee and asked if she wanted cream. I knew she would be there for a bit trying to figure out how to put the cover back on her cell phone so I set her coffee on the floor next to her and patted her on the head while I said good morning.

An entrance like that makes my sister do a "calming breath" exercise that her therapist taught her. For some reason she can’t do it without holding both hands on her head while making a growling noise in the back off her throat on the “release breath”. I'm sure her method of remaining calm and not saying something hurtful to our Mother is helpful but it also makes this family seem crazier than we really are. Mom has the best intentions. No one sets out for the day wishing to enter a room like a tornado. It just comes naturally to her.

I don't know at what point in life your parents stop being a constant source of embarrassment, I only know that I got to that point a lot faster than my sisters. Maybe it's because I need her more than they do. She brings me wine on Fridays, cheese on Wednesdays and calls my not quite yet ex husband bad names in Italian whenever she sees me cry. On this particular morning she is here at 7:30 to watch my sick little kid so that I can go to work. She can fall all over the place, leave a trail of destruction and i'll just step around her. I need her. And more coffee.

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