1971-1973 a little blue school bus pulled up to our house, the door opened, I was helped in by my mom while the bus driver sang, "I dream of Jeannie with the light brown hair...," every time I boarded the bus. I loved that song because I loved the show, and I loved being called Jeannie just like the magical TV Jeannie.
2018 a white bus with blue lettering pulls up to my home and this time it is I who helps my mom onto the bus. The driver doesn't sing a song to her about her, but I know that if he did she would be just as giddy as I was so many years ago.
In 1990, one of my first jobs when I first moved to New York was as a babysitter. That was when I was first introduced to this thing called playdates: coordinating with others so that kids could meet together to play. As I sit here in church writing this while half listening to the sermon, I'm also coordinating with her caretaker for my mom to go play Bridge this Monday. I sit here this Mother's Day Sunday, motherless, uncelebrated, having never "brought in life," scheduling playdates for the week, and also remembering that I've got to schedule those doctor/dentist/eye doctor appointments, as well as plan when I will get to wash her clothes, especially the new white pants I bought her that she's managed to wear every single day since they arrived, dreading that tomorrow I may end up having to drop her off at her playdate then wait for the caretaker to meet me there before I race off to work, and also calculating how to design our afternoon today before our Mother's Day dinner date with out-of-town relatives tonight, while wondering if I go out and exercise after church or take a nap (I took a nap).
Is this the circle of life, or am I being punked?
For mother's day, in her card, I tucked in $10, enough for a snack from the store after church, or a quick trip to Dunkin' Donuts. The joy on her face took me back to the joy I experienced when I opened my birthday cards when I was little to find money tucked inside.
One great thing coming out of this new life experience is that I suddenly find myself fiercely transforming into a "grownup." It took me 50 years to grow up but the funny thing is that years ago I remember my mom making a very similar statement about growing up at 50..
(By the way, when we got home from the dinner date with family, I washed the white pants in the sink (the top too) because she will probably want to wear them again soon, probably Monday. The time: 11:30 PM.)
She's tucked in for the night. She likes for me to tuck her in and kiss her good night. I'm sitting here now at midnight finishing this blog while keeping her company. It makes her happy if I find time to spend with her each day. She is like a happy kid when I sit here watching TV. I'm happy doing it as long as we don't watch a game show. I've got her watching Modern Family right now. It's like my childhood has returned but the roles are reversed. I'm the mom and she's the kid. My own real life Freaky Friday.
My year of hate
I can't believe how angry I am so much of the time
But what I hate is..."