My mom used to joke that nobody in the house needed to be worried about anything, because she took care of it for all of us. There's more truth in that statement than I should admit.
I bet she was hoping when she got me shooed out of the nest, she could unload some of that worrying she was doing on my behalf. That didn't happen. Maybe, she thought, when I became a mom I would start to worry for myself. Unfortunately for her, I don't think this has happened, either.
I was sitting around a few days ago, trying to remember the many times I called her this year with the opening line "do you have a few minutes to talk"? For reference, she should hang up when I do this. But she doesn't. Instead, she lets me interrupt whatever she is doing, and I unload on her about something that's happening in my life - almost always related to my kids. She tries to troubleshoot the situation with me, and I know there have been many times when she's silently thought about her schedule, wondering what she was going to miss or need to reschedule if she came out to DC - which she has done and I'm sure will do again.
And after every one of these calls, I stop worrying. It's amazing. And I know, of course, it's because she's worrying, and that worry will be passed along into the universe and then whatever issue vexes me will be solved. It's not fair to her, but I just can't seem to break the habit. That phone is just so close.
So this year, for my mom's birthday, I tried to say thank you in some teeny-tiny way, for she does for me, without ever making it seem like I'm putting her out. I purchased her a needle-felting kit to make pumpkins, which is something we did when she was visiting last Fall. She had thought about looking for supplies, but I was pretty certain she hadn't tracked everything down yet.
Helen presented the gift, and I do think my mom was both surprised and happy.
And then, just to seal the deal, and perhaps to serve as a reminder for all those calls that were related to Connor this year, Connor gave her a potholder that he had made the artwork for. He was extremely proud of this potholder, and I'm pretty sure my mom liked it.
Next year, I should present her with the gift of not asking her to worry about me, but I'm guessing I'll be calling her within a few weeks saying "do you have a few minutes?". And like always, she'll probably let me interrupt her, and she'll talk me through whatever happens to be going on.
P.S. If the pumpkins aren't finished by summer, I'll sit down and felt them with you.