On Mother’s Day and regular days – the 2:00 pm call

The 2 pm call

It was 2:00 pm and I was just getting back from class. I heard the phone ring as I walked into my apartment on College Street. “Hello?”

I walked down the hall and saw the red light blinking on my desk phone at work, waiting for me to pick up. “You have a call, Barb.” I looked at my watch. It was 2:00 pm.

I lowered my son into his crib, carefully slid my hands out from under his little body, and slowly backed out of his room. I tiptoed downstairs and into the kitchen. The phone rang. I looked at the clock. It was 2:00 pm.

The boys were in their swings under the deck and I took turns pushing them from the back, first one, then the other, with the baby tucked in the crook of my arm. It was hot that day, but cool under the deck and I knew they would be happy swinging for a while. I heard the phone ringing from inside the house. “I’ll be right back boys. Sit tight!” I held onto the baby and I ran up the deck steps, through the sliding door and grabbed the phone so I could bring it outside while we talked. It was 2:00 pm.

The newest little guy sat on the couch. We had just popped a tape into the VCR and he was already settled. Too old for a nap, he still needed his quiet time before the older boys came home from school. I looked at the clock. “Perfect, I thought.” It was 2:00 pm and the phone rang right on time.

Mom’s show, All My Children, used to drive the timing of her calls. Every day at 1:00 pm Mom took a break from her day and watched. And when the hour was up, she called. The years passed. My life changed. My family grew. Through college, work, marriage, children. Schedules changed, calendars filled. But there was one thing that stayed the same. The 2:00 pm call. Two people connected through one simple, consistent and repeating moment in time. A time when mother and daughter could exchange “What’s new?” between this time and the last, talk and listen and laugh.

All My Children ended its forty-one year run a few years back and when it did I felt a twinge of anxiety, the kind that comes before a change.  I liked knowing. I liked the certainty. I liked our routine. The anchor of a simple TV show was gone.

But now we have something new. I call. She calls. It’s 10:00 am or it’s 5:15 pm. Sometimes earlier or sometimes later. We take our chances and catch each other or we leave messages. It’s a fluid, changing system and when I press the numbers and Mom answers and I hear, “Oh, hi Barb, I was just thinking about you!” Then I know our new system is working! And I love it because the rest, the words and laughter and the love. Well that is just the same!

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I knew more than Mom in the Mother’s Day Race

Honor our mothers, who know better than us, but let us believe in ourselves. Thanks Mom!

Book Club Mom

Mom - race

The only thing I knew that summer day was that I was right and Mom was wrong.  We sat stalled in my Pram sailboat, and felt the waves and chop slap against the flat front of the boat and push us backwards.  And when the wind picked up, we watched in helpless frustration as the mothers in charge of the other boats sailed past us, as if they knew exactly what they were doing and we did not.  It was the day of the Mother’s Day Race and Mom and I had been winning.  Our lead had been huge, almost an entire leg of the race course.  But something had happened.

It was one of those awkward times when, with no graceful transition, the child, with puffed up confidence, seems to know more than the parent.  I was eleven and I was sure I knew everything about how to win…

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Some thoughts and books for Mother’s Day

Mothers-Day-2016-Cards mothers-days.net
Image: mothers-days.net.jpg

As Mother’s Day approaches, I’m thinking about my mom and about being a mom.  We’ll be spending the day with my parents tomorrow, enjoying a nice brunch and honoring my mother.  I won’t have all my kids with me, but I’ll have the whole crew home next week.  So nice to have a full nest for the summer!

So in keeping the wonderful sentiment of honoring and celebrating motherhood, here are a few books that do just that!

Tommy’s Mommy’s Fish by Nancy Dingman Watson

Tommy's Mommy's Fish

If you don’t know this book, try to get your hands on a copy.  I’m told it’s out of print, but it’s such a wonderful story and a great one to read to your kids.

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

make way for ducklings

Mrs. Mallard causes quite a stir when she leads her eight ducklings through the streets of Boston, across town to meet Mr. Mallard on the pond in the Public Garden!  It’s a wonderful picture book for little children and for young elementary school kids

An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresinowski

An Invisible Thread

Here’s an incredible story about a woman who befriends a boy panhandling in New York, and begins a thirty-year friendship.  Proof that motherhood comes in many forms.

Text Me, Love Mom: Two Girls, Two Boys, One Empty Nest by Candace Allan

Text Me, Love Mom cover

You don’t stop being a mom when your kids leave the nest.  Candace Allan tells us how it feels when the flights begin.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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