Sunday, March 23, 2008

Daytime Mommy

My mom left on her annual sojourn west days after we gave her our news. Normally, she calls a few times (maybe once every week to ten days) during these trips. I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that I often tune out what she says on such calls, since they tend to be dull updates regarding how lovely it is to get a break from not having any real responsibilities, and to get to do so in a place that is far warmer than where I am.

This year, her calls came at the same interval as they always did, but the calls seemed different. She didn't drone on and on about herself and her "exciting" life. Instead, she actually asked about me. And seemed to be genuinely interested in hearing my answers. We talked about morning sickness, and the fact that she never really had any. And she talked about the cravings she had when pregnant with me. And how her pregnancies with me and my brother were really different, enough that she knew he would be a boy since I was not. We had real conversations. The kind I imagine other women have with their mothers and think nothing of but that to me are extraordinarily foreign.

The real key: she was sober. I can't think of the last time I had two calls in a row from my mother in which she wasn't wasted and slurring her speech so badly it was hard to know what she was talking about. She sounded like what I, as a kid, called "daytime mommy" (a marked contrast from "nighttime mommy," who largely just became "mom" when my parents split up and no one kept from from getting drunk before 8pm anymore). It was weird. I almost convinced myself that she had realized that P and I were unlikely to let her hold our child, let alone spend time alone with him/her, in her present state and decided it was time to sober up. Or, even better, that her happiness at our happiness was enough to subdue the need to pour herself successive glasses of wine to numb the feelings she has spent her adult life numbing. Alas, her return home this week proved that one wrong, but it was nice to have daytime mommy back, even if it was just for a brief period.


Anonymous said...

Hey! Yeah, I have NOT done a great job posting. I am getting my tonsils out today though; maybe my forced convalescence will make me write!

Jen said...

I'm glad that happened, if only for a little while. Maybe it will become a habit.