Seats are buckled and we are off to my mother’s house in Connecticut.
We drive four blocks. Dylan pees in her car seat
We briefly contemplate whether it’s cruel to let our child sit in her drenched car seat for an hour. Although clearly the more convenient option, it somehow just doesn’t feel like good parenting. Sort of like when I look at 16 month-old Summer’s eyebrows and think, wow, they could use a good tweeze but I know that’s not appropriate. Good parenting is just something you feel in your gut.
We loop around the block.
After a change of clothes, we finally make it to my mother’s house.
Within a few weeks, she’s moving to Northampton, Massachusetts to pursue a master’s in social work. I hope it’s kind of a crunchy place because my mom is wearing these today.
So we are here for a party to celebrate her new adventure. The invitation read, “Susan (that’s my mom) and Lilly (that’s my mom’s dog) Cordially Invite You To Come Celebrate The Changing Of Our Lives, Mine, Yours, Your Families and all Sentient Beings.”
I’m still not sure of the definition of a “sentient being.” My mom often skates along on this sort of esoteric, Buddhist plain that I don’t always quite grasp.
This is my mom’s house.
We moved here when I was 14. A popular kid named Tim lived here before. And his best friend Teddy was mad as all crazy hell that his best friend moved away and I moved in.
Teddy viciously taunted me on the school bus.
He told me Tim’s dead cat was buried in the front yard.
Fortunately, Teddy is not invited to the party.
The salty smell of the Long Island Sound immediately brings back my youth. Water skiing. Roller blading. Soulful, heart destroying crushes. Real boyfriends. Sailing lessons. Cruising through town. The pursuit of the perfect fake ID. Throwing a party and having someone steal the phone off the wall. Swearing that I did not throw a party despite the missing phone and other very compelling evidence. Best friends. Breaking up with boyfriends. Leaving home. Coming home.
But there is no more coming home. My home is somewhere else now. This is me today. Kind of mopey.
But today is not about me. It’s about my 65 year-old mother who despite her fear, is moving joyfully on to the next chapter of her life.