Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Things I Never Understood About My Mom, But Now I Do

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers (www.twowritingteachers.org) for hosting Slice of Life and getting me to write on my blog again.

If you are a mom, or even a grown-up, I'm sure you've had the experience where you found yourself doing or saying something that was exactly what your mom would have said or done. It's surprising to realize this, as the thing that you just said or did was probably something that you thought you would never actually do or say.

Since I've become a mom, I have developed two habits of my mom's, which as a kid I thought were totally weird, but now I totally get. The first of which being her ability to fall asleep during any movie, even if she is in a movie theater.

This never made sense to me, particularly as a well-rested teenager. I mean, it's one thing to fall asleep when you're watching a movie and lying on your own couch. But a movie theater, seriously? I remember going to see Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and the whole theater was laughing hysterically while my mom snoozed away in her chair.

But as a working mom with two small children, I completely understand this now. A dark room, a reasonably comfortable chair, and two hours where no one needs you: how could not use this as an excuse for a nap. In fact, I am so bad about falling asleep during movies that if I am reclined even slightly past a 90 degree angle, my chances of falling asleep increase exponentially.

Another thing that baffled me about my mom as a kid was how she never took off her coat. For example, she might come in from the store and proceed to put away all the groceries and then move on to making dinner and then sit down to eat dinner, all with her coat on. We all used to tease my mom about this habit, and it wasn't until I was making dinner in my coat one night and was called out by Sophie that I realized I had started doing this.  "Mom, why are you still wearing your coat?!"

I don't know: I'm cold? I just didn't have time to remove it?

Whatever the reason, I would just like to say, "I get it, Mom."

My beautiful mom!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Up or Down?

Check out more Slice of Life writing at www.twowritingteachers.org !

The beautiful spring weather has brought family bike rides back into our lives, as well as reviving an old argument that Pete and I have had for as long as we've known each other.

While out for a ride the other night, I called out to Sophie (who likes to be the leader), "Turn up the street, Soph!"

From behind me, I could hear Pete utter, "Up is not a direction."

But, clearly it is because Sophie knew just what I meant and turned right, which was definitely "up" on this particular street. You see, I grew up using "up" and "down" as directional words, especially in regards to the street on which I lived.  The Stones lived up the street from us and the Swearingens lived down the street. It was as simple as that. Although, Pete says that this theory only applies to towns that are located on a hill, such as the one where I grew up, and people like him (who grew up in a very flat farm town) can make no sense of it.

I don't, however, only equate "up" and "down" with hills. Our previous house was on a completely flat street, but I would say "go down the street" to indicate the direction where most of the "stuff" in our neighborhood was. For example, the park and the ice cream shop were obviously "down the street" from us.

You might think that "up" and "down" would correspond to the directions of north or south, but they don't. Our new house, which is on a hill and therefore evidently "up" the street, is actually to the east of the main road. Also, in my hometown, there is a street that runs north and south, but if I said I was going "down River Avenue," I would actually be saying that I was traveling north, and conversely, if I said I was going "up River Avenue," I would mean I was traveling south.

Okay, so now that I'm trying to explain this, I can see where it might appear confusing. I would say that "up" or "down" is something that is so ingrained in my way of thinking that determining whether a direction is up or down is more of a gut feeling at this point.

A feeling which, even after a decade of marriage, Pete has not become accustomed. Because every time we exit our driveway on our bikes and I call out, "Which way should we go: up or down?" he mumbles and shakes his head.