The Magic Mother
Note to self: The bedroom walls should probably be washed more often than once every five years.
As I took a Magic Eraser to some errant pencil remarks this morning, my mind strayed…
I had the best conversation I have ever had with my mother on Friday night. It was bittersweet, because most of what she talked about were the sort of things that one reflects upon, when confronted with one’s mortality. I didn’t say much, other than a question here or there to request clarity or expansion, or just to keep her train of thought going.
I felt particularly at a loss for words, due to my many thoughts and feelings, and the tears that would well up and sometimes fall. I felt like I should be more supportive, somehow, or more assuring, or with the right words that would put her heart at ease. I had nothing. I prayed, asking the Holy Spirit for insight. Nothing.
Afterwards, she thanked me for just listening, and that she was glad that I hadn’t tried to offer her any solutions, or tell her how she could have avoided X, Y, or Z, but that I just heard her out so that she could unload some burdens.
I guess silence is the right thing to “say”, sometimes.
A friend, whose mother recently died, recommended to me that, next time I talk with my mom, I bring along a hand-held recorder. I think I have one around here somewhere. She’d feel weird about being recorded, I think. But, I’d feel weird about recording her on the sly. So, we’ll see. But, after he suggested that, I realized that my siblings would probably want to hear what she has to say, too…
One of the things we talked about — and I don’t know how the conversation took this turn — was about how, as a child, I thought my mom had the most magnificent and magical powers of Finding Things Out. She just seemed to know everything, discerning most of it before I even did the deed I was considering. This was incomprehensible to me. At some point, I just chalked up any attempt at secrecy as a total lost cause.
I think I have inherited my mother’s powers. 😉
There I was, with the Magic Eraser, thinking back a few weeks to when I first discovered them. (I did give a previous attempt to cleaning them off, but it didn’t do much. I don’t know why I didn’t think of Mr. Clean.)
I visited Audrey, who was supposed to be napping on my bed. Obviously, she hadn’t been asleep. When she doesn’t nap, which is about every other day, she bounces around, finding anything that might be of interest in my bedroom, which she then snatches, scurries back to the bed, and amuses herself with. That day, she had found a pencil. I looked at the artwork, then looked sharply at her. She attempted to suggest that one of her siblings might have done it, and in fact, implicated Grant. Or Wesley. You know, someone else — not her.
I would have none of it, and she just could NOT figure out how I was so certain that it was she who had done the deed.
Amid the bold, sweeping, random strokes of pencil were rudimentary attempts at the letters “A-U-D-R-E-Y” and another of her favorites: stick figures who sport long hair. Girl stick figures.
Her protests of innocence were for naught. I, quite unreasonably, would hear no argument of how, perhaps, someone else might be to blame for the drawings on the wall.
When I was a child, was I really that obtuse???
My mom is still magic, though.