Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hi Mom.

My mother had Monday off (in addition to Thursday when she regularly watches Nik), and she called me to tell me she wanted to watch Nik.  My mother still works full time at 63, she'll be 64 this year.  She has been working more than my father this past year.  My father owned an excavating business and when building and construction slowed, or rather stopped, do to the economy, he has found himself with less and less work, and has now handed the business over to my uncle and is now working for the city.  They moved retirement to 67, so my mother still has three more year before she can retire. 

My heart goes out to my mother.  She works holidays and weekends, and she is physically exhausted at the end of the day, working on her feet all day as a retail salesperson.  She misses out all the time on special events, family time, and special occasions because she cannot take off work.  When Nik was born, she offered to use one of her two days off to watch her every week. And this has helped us out tremendously financially and me (sanity wise).  It's the only day that I don't worry about Nik, and usually the only day that I don't belittle and berate myself for not being able to stay at home with my children.  The other day she gets off during the week varies, sometimes it's a Sunday, sometimes another day during the week. During the holidays, she only gets one day off a week. 

The fact that she offers to watch Nik on her days off just warms my heart in a way that I can not describe. At her age, with the demands of her job, and knowing she has no other time for herself or to clean or run errands, she uses this only time to watch Nik.  We pay our sitter for 4 days, so any days beyond Thursday that Nik is not there, we are obligated to pay regardless. But, knowing that it brings her so joy to watch her, and fills her life brings me such pride in knowing she is my mother.  Knowing she wants to watch her more than take that time for herself and wants to watch her other than when it is simply convienent for her just reminds me of what a giving, generous person she is, and I can only think what a wonderful mother she must have been to me when I was too young to really remember or be aware.

I hope one day, I am that giving and that generous to my grandchildren, and that I am able to be half the grandmother, or rather, "mimi" she has been to Nik, and will be to our future children.

I called my mother on my lunch break just to check in, and was expecting my mom to tell me Nik was asleep. as she usually does. It took till just about the last ring for someone to answer, and I hear, "Hi Mom."  The voice sounded so casual, so confidant, so matter of point, and with a distinct tone, that I thought for a moment it must be my mom mocking my call.  It almost sounded like my 6 year old niece which I knew couldn't be possible as she lives in Orland Park.  After a few moments, I realized, or was it because she then said, "Hi Mommy" that I realized the voice belonged to Nik.  I have never heard her call me "Mom" and she sounded so grown up, so old, like she was 13 years old.  I think my heart dropped in my chest at this realization, bc I am not ready for her to get so big so fast. Of course, I LOVE watching her learn new things, explore new things, take new steps, as she grows and becomes her own individual, but she will always be my baby, even when the new baby comes. I think I will just start saying, "My babies."

Then the proceeding coversation resulted in a lot more of, "Hi Mommy" (ies) and I could hear in her voice that she wanted to see me instead of just talk to me, and it was heart breaking to hear. I don't think I will be calling home to speak to her anymore.  It was heartbreaking to me to continue the coversation as she just kept saying, "Mommy, Mommy," and I knew she wanted to see me.  I tried to ask her specific questions questions but it ended up as more that she just wanted to call for me instead of answer them.   My mother also said that when they said to say "good bye" and I said "good bye" and hung up, that big crocodile tears and crying resulted.

She has become more attached to me as we head into the two's and I can't help but wish that time would just speed up so I can be home with her permanantly.  Knowing it's so close, and not yet here, is agonizing.  And yet, I want to treasure this time between just the two of us.  It breaks my heart to leave her everyday, and I want to be with her every moment when we are together, which seems impossible.

But that, "Hi Mom" keeps echoing in my mind, and reminding me that our little pumpkin is getting bigger, growing up, and I am unable to slow time down, and left to just try and embrace every moment of it.