My sister N and I spent this past weekend in Flo-ree-da visiting my mom. It was a joyous time. We ate well, we slept late each morning, we read the Sunday New York Times by the pool and soaked in plenty of rays during four glorious days of brilliant sunshine. (Yes, we put suntan lotion on, don’t worry we didn’t want our 50+ year old arms and legs to get too sunburned.)
It was so wonderful. I felt like singing “The Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars. Come on, sing a verse with me and you’ll see how it felt…
“Today I don’t feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don’t feel like picking up my phone
So leave a message at the tone
Cus today I swear I’m not doing anything
Nothing at all
Ooh hoo, ooh hoo
Hoo ooh ooh
Nothing at all”
While it felt great to “slow down” and take a break from our hectic lives, my sister N and I agreed that we take a lot of the physical things we can do for granted. Things like walking, taking a shower, getting in and out of a car, balancing on two feet or even one (as I do in yoga class).
Mom can’t move too quickly since she walks with a walker. It takes time for her to get in and out of a car and put on a seat belt. “Stand up straight,” I reminded her constantly. “Don’t push the walker too far out from under you. Take your time.”
Mom eats more slowly too. I bet she enjoys her food more than my sister N and me, as we are constantly rushing to the next job or task at hand. Mom is a mindful eater – that’s a good thing. “Are you sure you want to order the crab and seafood cannelloni?” I asked her at dinner on Saturday night. “Don’t you think that entree is too rich. I don’t want you to get a stomachache tonight.” She ordered it anyway and enjoyed a chocolate dessert afterwards too.
I brought my mom some new clothes – two cute tees and two pairs of pull up capris. I bought the kind of clothes that don’t have any buttons or zippers or ties that need tying. It’s hard for my mom to button a button with her arthritic hands. “Be sure to try on the new clothes and see if they fit,” I said to mom. “And wear the clothes, don’t just hang them in the closet and look at them.”
“Am I mothering my 90 year old mom too much?” I thought during certain moments. Maybe so, but whenever I tried the role reversal trick she shot back, “let me do it myself” and I tried to abide.
Ugh, it’s not easy being a caregiver to an aging parent. However, this weekend we were three wild and crazy girls out milling around and doing a whole lot of chilling (as my son often says when I ask him what he is doing). No worries, no deadlines, just having fun.
“What book is that you are reading?”asked mom.
“Fifty Shades of Grey,” I replied. “And N is reading Fifty Shades Darker.”
“Never heard of those books, are they any good?” said mom.
“Ooh, they are really good,” I replied. “But, mom, I think you are too young for these books.”
Happy Mother’s Day mom. I love you mom. So sorry, no fifty shades or fifty shades darker for you. No, no, no, not while I’m doing the mothering. The only shades you’re getting are the new sunglasses I bought you at Walgreen’s this weekend. Oh yeah and please make sure you put them on when you go out in the sun, okay.
Watching our mothers slowly fade away, feeling the need to be in charge, doing for them as they did for us….. the world is turning, isn't it?
Thanks for your note. How true, how true.