This was the weekend I became my mother.
I made the classic rookie mistake. I didn’t check for toilet paper before choosing a bathroom stall and doing my business. Where there should have been two industrial-sized rolls of toilet paper – there was jack squat. I sat there for a few long moments contemplating the unsavory options before me. I was saved when I suddenly remembered the extra, unused napkins I had stashed in my capacious bag when I took the kids out for lunch last weekend. They had snickered when they saw me doing it, just as I used to snicker whenever my mom would put extra napkins, ketchup packets, etc. into her bag.
“Just like Grandma,” they said shaking their heads.
Later that day I was driving my daughter home from a playdate when I spotted some adorable daisies – weeds, really – growing along the side of the road. Daisies always remind me of my mother. They are one of her favorite flowers. She carried them in her wedding bouquet and they had a special place in her flower garden.
My mother’s garden in Arlington
I stopped the car and yanked a bunch out to plant in my own garden:
Weeds in my garden!
My daughter was shrieking with laughter when I got back into the minivan clutching my daisies with clods of dirt falling from their roots: “You’re becoming just like Grandma!”
The first time my mother visited us when we moved to Charlottesville, we took her for a tour of the campus, (“Grounds”). We stopped to admire a hedge of wild roses that had been planted by the building where my husband’s office was located. My mother methodically picked rose hips off the bushes.
I looked uneasily about to see if anyone was witnessing the plundering of the rosebushes.
“Here!” she said, handing them to me, “Try planting these in your garden. If any come up, give me some!”
Later we walked along the Downtown Mall. At each of the large black planters placed at intervals along the pedestrian walkway she would stop to admire the lush flowers. Whenever she spotted flowers that had gone to seed, she would casually pull them off.
I shrank with embarrassment, but she handed them to me saying, “These will look beautiful in your garden!”
It’s been raining for weeks now. Every morning as I drive to work I think about all the things I’m going to do in my garden the minute I get home. Some days I don’t even bother changing out of my work clothes. I just throw on a pair of garden gloves and rush outside to the garden. I’ve found myself outside in the rain almost every day, sometimes in the pitch black, sometimes dodging lightning bolts…I remember watching my mother do this when I was a child.
“MOM! You’re getting soaked! Come in!” I’d say.
“It’s the best time to plant,” she’d reply, waving me away with her gloved hand.
All the kids’ soccer games were rained out, so we spent the day running errands. We had left a bunch of paint cans for the people who are buying our house, thinking they might like to have them for future touch ups. After the home inspection they asked us to remove them, so I dropped by our old house with my daughter and her friend to gather them up. My heart sank when I heard a crash.
“Uh-oh!” I heard my daughter say, “Mommy?”
I ran upstairs to discover that she had dropped one of the paint cans on the kitchen floor. The paint was oozing all over the tile. After a major freak out, I remembered there was a roll of paper towels in the garage. My elation turned to despair when I realized there were only two sheets left on the roll.
“Now what am I going to do?!” I groaned out loud.
My daughter piped up, “Don’t worry, Mom! You have a million napkins in your bag!” And so I did!
My son’s piano recital.
He was the final performer, so I had a couple hours of high anxiety until it was his turn at last. I’ve listened to him play his two pieces over and over for months. He had never gotten to the point where he was able to play through the pieces flawlessly every single time. I’m glad to report that he played them beautifully.
We went to Crozet Pizza, a Charlottesville landmark, to celebrate:
When we got home at last, my sweet daughter put her arm around me and said, “You should go have a nap now, Mommy, so you can be rested up for your fun night with your friends in Staunton.” (More on that later).
“Now who’s being just like Grandma?” I thought as I gave her a big hug.