My mom modeled the Mom as Fail Safe and even though I have far fewer resources than she, I continue the tradition the best I can. When in panic attack, call Mom. My mother could usually make it better because she was a Class A problem solver and she had the means to help. When I lost my one and only corporate job because I was a muckraker, Mom bought food for our family for more than a year until I could get back on my feet. (After that awful experience, I stuck with the nonprofit sector.) When our dog got old and started to have expensive health problems, Mom took the dog to live with her (and Dad of course, whom that dog loved). If we wanted to attend a family wedding but didn’t have the money, Mom bought the airplane tickets and the fancy clothing. If we were struggling through a particularly cold winter, Mom bought space heaters for the bedrooms. If our couch was falling apart, Mom paid to have it reupholstered. Napkins too wrinkly for a fancy dinner? She would iron each and every one. She provided sound advice, particularly about finances, and a helping hand when most needed (babysitting, cooking, cleaning). After Akili was born at home, Mom managed to launder all the blood out of the sheet that was underneath me during the birth. No matter what went wrong, Mom was there to pick up the pieces.
Sudi had his wisdom teeth out last week and, as Ron put it, I went into “mother mode.” Something like mother lode only not as lucrative. I became the queen of purée. I could purée an entire goat if my son needed to eat it. Yael was laid off her job and at loose ends so she came home for awhile to regroup. I feel fortunate that I have a room for her to live in for a bit and could offer her that safety net. Akili called three weeks ago in a panic because his water pump sprung a leak and spilled anti-freeze all over his timing belt, destroying it. I talked to the mechanic (and talked him down on the price), and $450 later the car was fine. Oddly enough, Sudi’s car was due for a new timing belt (because of the mileage on it) and I had to have his replaced last week. With timing belts on my mind (if a timing belt goes in a Honda then the car is gone), I checked on Yael’s Honda’s mileage only to discover that it was due for a new timing belt 15,000 miles ago! So I had hers replaced too. I think there’s something about when siblings are close they all get into the same rhythm and need new timing belts all at once. Ouch. My credit card runneth over. But I digress. The point is that when the timing belts go, it’s time to call Mom. Fail Safe. It’s good to know that no matter what befalls, Mom is there to pick you up. I miss you Natalie.
Mom and Me in Schenectady