On my sixteenth birthday I had my first real slumber party. There were probably six or seven giggling teenagers who came to spend the night. We stayed up until the wee hours of the morning talking and laughing and playing our favorite albums. We thought about sneaking out and wrapping the hated boy's house down the street, but we were not that brave. We saved that for another slumber party at someone else's house. I don't remember how long the girls stayed the next day, but when they were all gone, my mom took me shopping. I remember spending the rest of the day with Mom buying some really pretty clothes - including some bright colored plaid hip-hugger pants with the widest bell-bottoms ever. Mom bought an orange bodysuit (basically a long-sleeved shirt that pulled tightly over my body and snapped like a baby's onesie at my crotch). I was horrifyingly sexy in that outfit. My mom insisted that I was old enough to wear such stuff. What was she thinking?! Shopping with Mom was always an ordeal, because we never quite saw eye to eye. She had a great sense of style, but it was not my style. Most of the time, after much debate and discussion, she bought whatever she thought I should wear. So it went from puffy sleeves and lots of lace when I was small to sexy bodysuit when I was older. I was usually happy in a T-shirt and jeans or anything that had pockets. Then there was the problem of size - that I was a short and stocky and nothing seemed to fit right. Mom was always tall and slim and everything she tried on fit perfectly, so she had no understanding of why clothes did not work on me like they did on her. We had to try on everything in the store. On this particular shopping trip, I remember getting upset on the car trip home, although I do not remember exactly what the problem was. For some reason I could not control my feelings. But my mom just looked at me in that knowing-mom look and said, "Are you a little tired?" With that, I broke down and cried, putting my head down in the seat and Mom petting me. That was it! I was exhausted. The slumber party and the shopping had done me in. Like a child, instead of a sixteen year old, I fell apart.
Yesterday I got up early and went to Wichita Falls to run errands and take Mom to the doctor. My first errand was to stop by and see Toby's mom and pick up a check that she needed deposited in her bank. Then I went to find my mom doing well at her new elderly living apartment. We needed to be off to the doctor's, but four of her friends showed up as we were preparing to leave. It was very nice of them, but ill-timed - it made us rush. The doctor's visit went fairly well. When the doctor asked Mom how her memory was, Mom replied that it was about like anyone's. Well, if you forgot what you forgot, how can you know you forgot? Anyway, we gott'er done and went to lunch. I had taken particular care of my hairstyle that morning - puffing up my bangs and pulling them to the side a bit and not setting my glasses on my head to mash my bangs flat. Sitting across the table from Mom at lunch she looked at me and said, "You know, if I had my scissors, I could cut those bangs for you." Thanks, Mom. I felt sixteen again.
After lunch we did some shopping to buy Mom some things for her new apartment - like a microwave. Then we did a bit of clothes shopping for her - elastic waist pants to make it easier to dress herself with this broken arm. I thought we did pretty well, but there were a few moments that were hard on me (deja vu ) I did get tickled when I was getting her medium pants and she said, "You know, I might wear a small." Now my mom is an attractive 83 year old lady, but she is not a small anymore, and she is no longer as tall as she used to be. She kept trying to pull the pants up higher and higher. When I asked her why she was doing that, she replied that the pants were too long and she was trying to roll the waist up. I laughed and said, "Welcome to my world."
After shopping we went to get Mom's hair cut by the slowest hairdresser in the west. I swear it took the girl over an hour and a half to cut Mom's hair - just a cut, not a style or wash or anything else. And the cut was not really okay, but Mom kept saying, "Well, she is just out of school." It was not a pleasant time, but Mom did well. We both got tickled and laughed lots after it was over. Then there was another ordeal with Mom's insurance and medication. We finally got home and carried all her new stuff into the apartment. It was probably 100 degrees with extremely high humidity. We were both hot and sweaty. I got Mom situated - the new microwave installed and Mom down for a nap. I had other errands to run, but I was out of time. I had just enough time to get back to Duncan and grab a bite to eat before heading to teach a watercolor class at 6:30 PM.
The watercolor class went well. It was small. two ladies did not show so I only had four students. We did something a bit different than I had planned. It took longer than I had planned. So, I got home about 10:00 PM. On the drive from Duncan to home, I had that feeling of wanting to breakdown and cry. I didn't have any real reason. It was much like when I was sixteen. I guess I was just exhausted. I wish my mom could look at me with that knowing-mom look and understand what I am going through. I didn't cry this time. I am the mom.