Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Forever 16

I realized today that my mother worries more about me NOW than she (seemingly) did when I was younger. This baffles me.

It all started last night. I was phoned up by dear ol' mom to be forewarned about possible icy overnight conditions:

"Please be careful on the roads!"
"I will Mom, don't worry."
"Keep BOTH HANDS on the wheel."
"I will Mom."
"And watch for other idiots on the road!"
"Got it, Mom."
"And go out and put your sun shades on your windshield so you won't have ice on it in the morning."
"Already have, Mom."
"And dress warm, do you have a hat?"
"No, Mom, I don't need a hat."
"Do you want to borrow my black fuzzy Russian hat?"
"No, Mom, I'm walking 30 feet into an office."
"Please be careful on the roads."
"Geez, Mom, I will! I've driven before, you know, going on 9 years now!"
"I know, I just worry about you so much."
"Don't worry, Mom."
"Keep both hands on the wheel!"

And that was just last night. Take that conversation and multiply the annoying factor by about 100, and you have our conversation from tonight, when I was leaving Hometown* to drive back to SA.

My mom once told me, "You will always be 16 years old to me." I never really knew how to take this (Compliment? Insult?). Yes, I look really young for my age (as I'm constantly told), but I have a feeling she meant something different. Something along the lines of: I'm always going to be that naive young girl who constantly needs her mother in times of good and bad. And I think she couldn't function if it were any other way.

I make fun of her a lot. So does my sissy, brother in law, and daddy. Her last-minute, out-the-door warnings have become so routine in our house that Daddy has adopted mumbling "Warsh your hands" as mother is spewing out her final notes of caution. Sissy will laugh and add "Watch for deer on the road", and Brother in Law will chime in with, "And watch for idiots on the road" (these were the most common phrases in our household after sissy turned 16). I think Mom gets really flustered with us at times because whilst we are ribbing her, she is still being completely and totally serious. She has taken to simply frowning at us and throwing in a last "Be Careful**" as I head out the door.

These cautionary statements just about drive me bonkers everytime I hear them, but it's the type of thing where, if I wasn't warned, I would feel uneasy driving back home. I know my mom means well and just loves us so much that she couldn't stand the thought of anything ever happening to my sissy or myself. Amidst all the joking, I love my mother so much for caring so deeply for me.

I just find it so odd that, now that I'm an adult (really, I am) and on my own, she's MORE worried about me than when I actually was a 16 year old kid.

"You back at your apartment now?"
"Yes, made it home fine."
"Did you lock your door?"
"Both locks?"
"Of course."
"Check your closet just to be sure no one's hiding in there."
"Mom, c'mon, you're making me paranoid."
"Go do it while I'm still on the phone with you."
--opening closet door--
"Hey, lookie there! Sure 'nuff, a masked man with a gun AND a knife is crouching amongst my Etnies! What's that, you say, Masked Man? You're going to WHAT me? Oh, okay, well, let me get off the phone with my mom first, mkay? Be right back."
"Boy, I swear! That's not funny!"
"Goodnight, Mom."
(the I spend the rest of the night scared out of my socks that there really IS a masked man hiding in my shoes.)

*The use of "Hometown" must be credited to my Darling.
**Kate, say it out loud, right now!

Insignificance Conveyed @ 8:05 PM   11 GabbyGabbers

11 "Sure was sweet of you to drop in":

At 2:21 AM, Blogger Huw "told me"

Fight fire with fire. A barrage of calls imparting needless advice may well do the trick.

You might like to try some diamonds of wisdom my father has called to give me in the past, such as "If it gets cold, turn on your heater" and "If you get hungry, eat something".

The man is a genius.

At 4:02 AM, Blogger Chris "told me"

While reading that I couldn't help but think, "Why in the devil is Mo talking about my mom for?" But then I figured it out!

We Share The Same Mom!

I know it sounds impossible, with you being in Texas and all and me in NC, but I'm quite certain that our mutual mother is no more than a hologram reflected in multiple places at once! Creepy.

But seriously, I understand your pain. Or annoyance, at least. I can't even use the bathroom without my mom saying, "You're wearing ear muffs and a scarf, right?"

At 7:13 AM, Blogger Rob West "told me"

Here's the difficulty. Are you ready for the difficulty? Cause here it is.

The difficulty: We all have that parent. I can see her point of view, much as I hate to admit it. I remember vividly being in high school and asking "Can I stay out till 2 a.m.? the reason is, my friend is having this all-night coed party while his parents are out of town. PLEEEASE?? NO? GOD YOU ARE SO UNFAIR!!!". But you know what? I'm not gonna let my kids do that either. Even if it isn't a school night.*

The defficulty (part deux)is, when you're 16, she didn't have to worry. She saw you every day. You left for high school at 7 in the morrning, were off the roads for 8 hours, and got home at 3. You were also in bed by midnight and she didn't have to worry. She cooked your food, and locked your doors and fended off masked men. Now, she can't. And she can't be certain you are doing these things either. In fact, the less interest you show in doing them, the more it will cause her to freak.

Hence, the curse of moms. You simply can't win fights with them. I can try to reason, to calmly explain to her that I am an adult, and then yell and scream when that inevitably doesn't work, but it's easiest to just humor her. YES, I checked for evil people. YES, I know the roads will be icy. NO I don't speed, even a little bit. NO, I never kiss a girl unless I think I may want to marry her.


Dude, you blogged your SISTER! Actually, I blogged your sister, too. What does that make us?

*granted, I always snuck out and did whatever I want anyway. I have to admit I'd be a little disappointed if my kids never did that.

At 7:43 AM, Blogger Curly "told me"

My Bro and Sisters do the same thing to our Mam too, that's hilarious.

"Watch out for heffalumps!" is my favourite thing to shout as a sibling is trying to get out of the house and aways from mams barrage of warnings.

At 8:19 AM, Blogger Lauren "told me"

Heffalumps! That's awesome.

Oh, yes, dear Mo. . .how I relate to this one! What cracks me up is how my mom worries so much when I'm home visiting and go out with friends--I tell her, "Mom, for the majority of the year you have NO IDEA where I am, how late I'm out, or what I'm doing. All of a sudden, it matters?" And of course it does! To add to what Rob said, when I'm home, she can "control" it, in a sense, or at least feel like she can. Even more true, I suddenly tranform back into 16 year-old Lauren whom Mom must worry about--she just must, it's what Moms are for, right? My mom absolutely loves having all four of us back home at holidays, cries when we all leave, etc. And she calls when I'm driving back to Austin, ending with the ever-famous, "Be careful, hun." I drive to SA all the time, to Houston, etc. . .and Mom only calls me when I'm driving to and from home. It's a funny phenomenon. . .

and I know I'll probably be the exact same way some day. :) I hope my kids are forgiving!

At 8:28 AM, Blogger kate "told me"

I said it aloud with the proper inflection! Office niceties be damned!

At 12:43 PM, Blogger trishy "told me"

Mo, once again, your mom and mine come from the same mold. I seriously live 10 minutes from my parents. Probably only like 5 or 6 miles and when I leave their house and it is dark outside, I must call when I get home. And I get the "did you lock the door." All I can think is "what the hell do I do on the days I don't talk to my mom with no one to remind me to lock the door, turn on the heat, and wipe my butt? It's amazing I can even function, what, being only 24 and all and completely unaware of all that life requires."

But, as a friend at work who lost her mother years ago reminds me frequently: you'll miss all those things when she's gone. So laugh them off for now I suppose!

At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous "told me"

I think Moms are imparted with a manual just after getting birth. Or perhaps their brains are programmed with these little reminders?

At 6:15 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake "told me"

I suppose this will be your last post, since you failed to look under your bed.

At 8:43 PM, Blogger Chocolate makes it better "told me"

Mums, gotta love em.

My mum does this type of thing fact, i'm pretty sure all mums will.

It's in their make up...I don't think we can change it....just go along with it and have the odd larf or three at them.

At 6:13 PM, Anonymous Kristen "told me"

Hey Lanette!
Well, since you've met most of my family (although it was long ago and my grandpa kept calling you Lisa) you know that BOTH my parents are like your mom. They like to do the old switcharoo. Just when I think I've got one of them worn down, the other one swoops in to question/blame me for something. It's good fun and keeps me on my toes as to who has gone crazy this week/day/minute. Also, Rob, you sound just like me in high school, except instead of sneaking out I would lay across my bed and cry and call all my friends on my private phone line that my parents paid for and talk about what "unfair jerks" my parents were.


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