Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Last Post on Trip

A lot of the anxiety I had about being with my mother and sister was needless, of course. It turns out that the two of them have been regularly communicating and developing a rather healthy relationship over the past year or two. I quit as their mediator a couple of decades ago, and I am healthy enough not to be miffed that they learned to get along without me (but unhealthy enough to notice that I am not miffed).

It really is a good thing. Oh, we all drive each other nuts a little and they get on each other's nerves. When Mom was teaching Sis how to applique, each of them "threw me looks" whenever the other did something annoying. I found myself wondering when they might have been rolling their eyes at each other over something I had done, but it was all in good humor. We spent more than 3 days together and I never once had to listen to one vent about the other.

It was a good visit.

Sis almost never travels and so she felt it necessary to buy her brood presents. We went to a bookstore and she told me what each of her kids had been reading most recently and I said things like, "Oh yes, Jane Austin did write more than P&P and S&S. Has she read Emma yet?" "Detective novels? There's this book in which a fifteen-year-old bookish young lady meets an elderly Sherlock Holmes who takes her on as an apprentice." "For your son? Here are two Newberry winners that Andrew just loved." My sister told the woman at the customer help counter, the woman waiting to get help, and the woman at the cash register that she had to buy two books for each of her children because "It's not every day that I get to go to a bookstore with a college professor!"

My mother on the other hand told the owners of two quilt stores, a total of 6 check-out clerks at various stores where she regularly shops, and two neighbors that we were her daughters who had come just for her birthday. I think she even told the youngish woman at the ice cream parlour when she bought us frozen custard.

Both of my aunts dropped by to see us, as surprised as my mother since we had told no one but the BFF that we were coming. The aunts of course pointed out that they had not met our youngest children, nor seen our older since they were toddlers. We were told often that we must come again and not to wait so long the next time. One aunt even brought us cookies.

Mom was even more thrilled when my sister announced that she wanted to go to Mom's quilt guild meeting Tuesday evening (this was after I left), even though it was really just business and show-and-tell. Sis continued to be committed to going even as it became very clear that she (Sis) was going to be Mom's show-and-tell object. "Look, this is my daughter! She came all the way from XX for my birthday!"

By the end of the three days I could definitely see that Mom was getting tired. Though I had done all the driving and helped with the meals, she was beginning to show some strain. She was still sad to see me leave though and I think it was probably good for her to have one day with just Sis.

I can't really imagine it having gone any better.

Traveling back was just tedious. Now all I need to do is catch up on sleep.

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