Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Mom's Hobby

Today at work, I was reminded of what I used to do for a living. A child with autism faced with a broken down elevator that he could not ride, strangers' judgemental stares and comments, a tearful mom trying to explain to me why her son was behaving as he was.

A brief prompted conversation with a little boy who made eye contact with me. Brief. But a connection. A few moments of conversation with a mom whose plate was overflowing with worry and who just needed someone to listen to her for a moment or two.

Driving home, I wanted to call my Mom and tell her about it. I wanted her to tell me I'm doing what I need to for my family, that it's okay, I'm where I'm supposed to be in my life. I needed someone to listen to me for a moment or two.

But of course I couldn't. So I went home and ate a chocolate cupcake and now my gut is the one talking to me and it's telling me it's NOT ok, and actually, I am an idiot. 3 months since my surgery and I'm faced with the grim fact that I am an emotional eater who is about an intestinal foot short of being able to continue to be one.

Anywhoo...I do have conversations in my head with my Mom. Is that weird? Perhaps. But I do try and think about what she would say to me. I've been struggling with it lately, though, and even thinking about the sound of her voice gets harder to pull from the depths of my memory. A friend reminded me online tonight that I knew what she would say. But tonight I just couldn't hear her.

I took The Monkey out on an evening walk tonight. I thought it might help clear my head. But so many thoughts kept spinning in my head...the decisions I've made, the paths I've chosen and everything I've been through in the past while. Am I where I should be? Doing what I should be doing? That little guy at work...God, have I made the right choices?

I just want some ANSWERS, dagnabit.

And then tonight I randomly chose a book from the bookshelf to read for The Monkey's bedtime story. 'The Berenstain Bears Mama's New Job'. I opened the book and there was The Eldest's name written on the inside cover, in sweet 5 year old writing. So many years ago I used to read her bedtime stories and now she's 19 and growing her adult wings. So many years I've been at this parenting gig.

I started reading to The Monkey. In the book they discuss the Bear Family's hobbies. I turned to The Monkey and asked her what her favourite hobby was, as well as the rest of the people in our family. Her responses were cute and predictable...her favourite hobby was colouring and doing crafts, The Princess' was reading, The Eldest's was going out with her boyfriend, The Boy's was staying in his room and playing on his computer, and The Husband's was sleeping.

Then I asked her what she thought my favourite hobby was. She looked at me and smiled.

"Loving me."

Yes, my Keeley. Loving you and my family is my best hobby. The bestest hobby in the world.

Thanks Mom. It was so great to hear you tonight.