Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I know it's been ages, I know this is a scattered bit of prose, but it will have to do for now so I hope you enjoy.
July 21, 2007
Mom and I sat talking in her living room this morning before Oliver woke up. Dredging up not-so-pleasant and oh-so-pleasant memories along with the quest to be able to always remember said memories (the oh-so-pleasant ones to be more specific, if you hadn’t noticed: it ain’t hard to remember the not-so-pleasant ones). I brought up my blog (not that she has internet but enough of the rest of my family does so you won’t see much venting on this thing) as a way of documenting the memories but I also noted that I don’t write on it enough though my older brother commented not too long ago, “You know how to write!” so because a good memory came out of the visit to TX Oliver and I are flying back from, for example, one with said brother, I will document a bit. I don’t think I need to remind you, I digress and this tome is no exception.
There are examples of true motherhood that my mother has shared with me that I always want to remember and live up to: After my parents divorced, we moved to Corpus Christi, TX and my mom worked full-time then went to school at night for her Master’s. As I remember, she took 9 to 12 hours per semester. This had to KILL her and she admitted that there was many a night that she drove to school crying because she was cold and tired and school was the last place she wanted to go to after working full time for the Department of Human Resources counseling 17 year olds pregnant with their 5th child and they “just don’t know why.” And yet she drove on solely for her kids.
My mom had polio when she was five. The doctors apparently told my grandmother that she would be “a cripple” (apparently the p.c. term for the time) to which my grandmother basically said, “Not on my watch.” And every morning she drove my mom from the tiny little town of Benavides, TX (“blink and you’ll miss it”) to Corpus so mom could have some sort of 1936 physical therapy (I shudder to think what that consisted of) til my mom was able to walk. But that’s not all – my tiny, little grandmother CARRIED my five-year-old mother from the parking lot to the hospital each and every day. This makes this morning’s flight from San Antonio to Cincinnati sitting next to a HUGE bowhunter* (judging by his periodical of choice) with my 26+ pound nine-month old sitting in what little, cramped lap I had seem like a walk in the park eating icecream.
So to lighten things up a bit, Tommy, Oliver and I flew to TX for a week followed by Oliver and I continuing our journey onto San Antonio by a really great, really long Texas Backroads drive by the hand of my older brother (mentioned above).
*Okay, this morning’s flight was comical enough worthy of documentation. As I said, Oliver is 26+ pounds. The flight to TX, we lucked out and he got his own seat (apparently on most all airlines except Continental, if the seat next to you is vacant, your baby can sit there in his carseat). I figured since I was returning on another Saturday (the slowest travel day, FYI), I’d have reasonable good luck. My afternoon flight through that logic off and Mr. Bowhunter, Oliver and I were rowmates. Mr. Bowhunter’s wife and son sat in the row next to us and I was thisclose to asking if the son would be willing to sit next to us rather than Mr. B but I felt that Mr. B’s son was a little too young to comply so I refrained. Well, Mr. B wore a camoflaged hat that had orange trim and some sort of orange, pro-bow logo on it. Red is too bulls as orange is to Oliver. PLUS Mr. B was not in awe of the preciousness that is Oliver so that made O that much more cute and, shall we say, assertive. His precious, biscuit hand often grazed Mr. B’s army green t-shirt to no avail and no response. None. Mrs. Bowhunter fell victim to Oliver’s charms many-a-time through the flight and she was sitting across the aisle but Mr. B? Nope. And I don’t think he did it out of anger for sitting next to big ol’ me and big ol’ baby, I kind of got a weird “out of respect I’ll ignore them”/shy, gentle giant vibe. But still, EVERY PART of me was cramping up trying to contain the force that is Oliver Who Needs a Nap Very, Very Badly in my own personal Seat 8D space [please know, I realized before this fateful trip that this was the last time that Oliver wasn’t going to have his own ticket – it was the whole Saturday flight thing that made me risk it and to confirm that gamble, I sit here typing this in my own seat with precious, sleeping Oliver sitting next to me on the flight from Cincinnati to Hartford. (Soon I get to see my husband! Soon Oliver gets to see his Daddy! Joy, joy, JOY!!!)] And yet I digress in my own “whatever this ‘*’ thing is. called” At one point in my cramping while chanting, “This too shall pass/My Grandmother carried my mother to the hospital ever yday” over and over and over, the flight attendant came up and asked if Mr. Bowhunter and I were together, he said we weren’t and she then said there was an exit row, aisle seat (my pre-motherhood favorite seat of all time second only to First Class, of course) available and he said, “No thanks, I’m with them” and pointed to Mrs. & Jr. Bowhunter. I turned and looked out the window and forced myself not to cry. The flight attendant then proceeded to ask how old Oliver was, her son was only 11 days older and approximately half his size – at least Mr. B got to discover that O was still a card-carrying baby while feeling ever so slight kharmic ramifications while being sandwiched between two first time mothers both over 35. And the flight eventually ended, and I eventually was able to stretch and walk, and all is well. God has a funny sense of humor sometimes and I knew this was one of them.