My mother is a hoot. She is 72-years-old and more active than most 20-year-olds I know. She belongs to three book clubs, one lunch club, serves on about a hundred church committees, and recently completed a four-year course called EFM (Education for Ministry) to become a lay minister in the Episcopal Church, a course in which she engaged in such light reading as the complete works of Augustine and the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. She takes classes on digital photography. She uses Skype, she Twitters, she has a Facebook page.
She has also gotten to the point in her life where she says whatever she feels like. This can be a little embarrassing if you go out to lunch with her and she gets candid with the wait staff, but for the most part it's refreshing and often quite hilarious.
Yesterday I called to tell her I made Andrew (see previous post) unfriend her on Facebook. She was relieved. "I was getting tense whenever I logged on," she admitted. We chatted about this and that, and then I mentioned that my new book had gotten a good review that she could find online.
"I have that book," she said, "But I just can't get interested in reading it." Pause. "I guess I shouldn't say that, should I?"
She went on to list all the books of mine she loves and has read over and over. What's interesting to me is that the two books of mine she's not crazy about ("I'm just not interested in the lives of girls in their early teens") are a) two of my favorite books that I've written; and b) two of my most autobiographical.
My theory is that she doesn't want to relive the pain of my early teen years. I had all sorts of drama with my friends, and one girl I knew was particularly mean to me. My mother knew what was going on, but was helpless to do anything about it. And now she doesn't want to read about it. Who can blame her?
My boys are going up to the mountains this weekend, and I'm staying home to paint Will's room. The painting part will be easy. The hard part will be the four or five hours it takes to peel off all the stickers from the walls, deconstruct the mucus mosaics, and wipe off the lovely crayon mural created in the midst of a long-ago hissy fit. It is possible by the time the walls are prepped I will be too old, my spirit too broken, to actually lift a paint brush.
I hope everyone has a great weekend. To all my friends Down Under--stay cool! To my friends in the UK, take heart! Spring is coming! To all my friends in the U.S., if you don't feel like watching the Super Bowl, come to my boy-free house on Sunday. We'll drink white wine and talk about ballet. It will be fabulous, dahlings.
The Nieces Return
1 hour ago