Mom is coming for a visit later this summer!! We have been searching online for weeks now, putting in bids on priceline in hopes of finding a super rad ticket deal. Prices were looking good, but not good enough to click the purchase button. Yesterday I hit the jackpot. I decided to switch our tactics and tried Kayak. BINGO! Thank you Delta. Round trip airfare from her house to ours: $280, and that included all taxes and fees. I rang Mom up and told her what I had in front of me on the computer screen - she said GET IT!
So I got it. Which by the way, is how things work in our family. If something needs found online, typically I'm getting a phone call from California for some aid. I will say that my parents have gotten better, more independent and confident in their use of the World Wide Web. But airline tickets - I think I've purchased all of theirs.
Mom will be here for a lovely 10 days. I warned her: since she'd be visiting right up until it was time for me to return to work - not to expect a daily schedule chalk-full of sight-seeing and outings. I was more than happy to take her on a few excursions, but I was hoping she'd be just as happy hanging out. Mom was more than amenable to my proposed agenda. Selfish as it might be, I don't want to spend the last few hours of summer running around, my free time being zapped by a shopping trip. I wanted to savor it, enjoy it, and I couldn't think of a better person with which to spend it. Quietly and peacefully - not in the car on the highway.
She said all she wanted to was to be with me. Done.
I don't get to see Mom very often, just once or twice a year. 2011 proves to be a real treat. I saw her in April, she'll be here in a few short weeks, and Big Red and I have plans to be with my family out in California come XMAS. Three whole times in one year. Sweet deal if you ask me. You know, most days I don't miss my parents in a way that's longing or desperate. I don't need to see them all the time. In fact, we probably work better with a little space between us. Now, 2000+ miles is quite a bit of space. I wasn't necessarily looking for THAT MUCH space, but it's just the way life has worked out. We talk on the phone every couple of weeks, sometimes more often, sometimes not. We use Skype every now and again, and that's fun. I can only speak for myself when I say that I've grown, for the most part, accustomed to living far apart from my family. Most days we all just go about our business doing our own things. Occasionally I will feel the absence of my family; those moments can be difficult, but they are not impossible. I imagine that when Big Red and I have our first child, it will be then that the missing becomes more pronounced. Flagrant in your face, can't ignore it kind of missing. The casual drop in, when you actually want it, won't/can't happen. But isn't that usually the case? The day Big Red and I got married, I felt his brother's and grandmother's absence. Both passed years before we were married. Daily life is manageable. It's when life presents its biggest celebrations and milestones that we want to share with the ones we love most.
I'm sure my parents were not thrilled when Big Red and I told them we were planning on moving back East. I can imagine they were pissed, hurt and angry. Dad is much better about keeping his opinions to himself; Mom - not so much. She let us know she didn't like the fact that we were leaving. Mom questioned how we would remain a family, and how would her grandchildren know her? She did not want to be a stranger to her own kin. While we haven't crossed that bridge yet, I have confidence in modern technology and our ability to remain a tight unit despite the miles between our physical selves. I've tried to put myself in her shoes, tried to feel the hurt of letting a daughter go and live her own life.
The shoes just don't fit yet.
No doubt someday the tables will turn.
And I'll know.