Saturday, May 13, 2006

Taking Care of Business

So on this Mother's Day Eve, I am of course going to write about my mother.

I have written before about my mother and my concern over the percieved lack of relationship between us. And even though I am certainly not best friends with my mother in the way I would like, I know for a fact that she loves me.

When I entered first grade, my mother began attending school to become a registered nurse. A few years later, she would be working all kinds of crazy shifts at the hospital, and some days I would only see her for a couple of hours. In the mid-seventies, I am not sure how many women were in the workplace full time. Certainly, it was more uncommon than today.

For a good period of time, I resented my mother working. It seemed that she was never there, even if in reality she was. I didn't like being a latch-key kid. But I was never, ever neglected. She still managed to attend all my functions, from award ceremonies to every volleyball game I ever played. Even the ones in other states and countries when I sort of wished she was at work.

One day many years later, I asked my mother why she began working. Was it for money? Was it for her own self-esteem?

She replied that she went to work for my sister and me.

I snorted aloud at the thought, it made no sense to my then not-a-mother self.

She became indignant. What if something happened to my father, where would we be? Did I think she was irresponsible? If she did not have a way to support us, we would have been dependent upon other people for help, which is anathema to my mom. My mother is nothing if not a long term thinker, even though I sometimes have a hard time making sense of her planning.

But I get it now Mom, I really do.

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