My mother is truly a piece of work. She and my father live an hour and a half (or more depending on traffic) away from me. After not visiting them at their home for a lil over a month, I decided that I’d drive myself and the girls up yesterday and spend the day with them. They were pleasantly surprised of course. We had snacks on the deck, had some good laughs, then my mom’s famous pot pie for dinner. All was groovy until…the lecture. Why don’t I come to visit more often? What’s keeping me away? I’m depriving my children of time with their grandparents AND I missed the family reunion so I’m even creating distance between myself and our extended family. Are they not worth my time? Part of me wanted to tell them how I’ve managed feeding, entertaining, and cleaning up after three children every day while feeling like shit up until a few weeks ago, mind you with little to no help, and missing writing gigs and deadlines. I wanted to express the hardships of running camp mom and motivating my children to get up and stay active despite my desire to sleep until 12 bc this pregnancy is kicking my ass. But I didn’t. It would’ve only been received as an excuse and in those moments, people don’t wanna hear those. They want your time. Instead I told them the drive was a pain and if I can avoid it, I do. Momma said she wished her mom was only 1.5 hours away. To that, I had no suitable retort.
I planned to leave late, like say 9 or 10pm-ish. Of course my kids didn’t want to but I was ready to get home to my bed. Instead that plan turned into my mom delivering on the promise of fresh baked cookies that went into the oven at 9:30, extra time with my little sister and nephew, and an all night conversation with my mother. And no, that’s not an exaggeration. Never making it upstairs to bed, we literally talked from 11pm until 5:30am. We talked about everything!!!! From my youngest child being a total brat to homeschool, the summer my cousin and I terrorized my mom getting into constant mischief to life lessons in motherhood, gossip to finance, hair to gardening. Generational curses to mental health. She reminded me of odd childhood friends and times she went with her maternal protective gut, and said no. We laughed reminiscing about how we accidentally got locked out on a 100 degree summer day. I remembered being her little girl, what that felt like. OMG we blabbed nonstop….until finally the light began peeking through around 5. My mom opened her blinds then commanded me to lie down so we could get a few hours. She curled up on the other couch across from me and we chatted for another 30 min (about what, I don’t remember). Before dozing off completely, I glanced over at her. The blanket I attempted to drape over her but she snatched off refusing to be covered up, was being used as a pillow instead. She was snoring lightly and it made me smile. How cute she looked. She looked like her mother and I wondered if one day our roles in one another’s lives would reverse. I turned over and thought about what she’d said about time not standing still. Things change, people change. You never know how much time you have with people so you have to enjoy them while you can. That 1.5 hour drive it took to visit, wasn’t only worth it, it seemed so trivial in that moment. A moment that some day I may wish was only a mere driving distance away, and not impossible or no longer available. We get caught up in the hassle of the trip and totally miss the value of the journey. Lesson learned.