Sunday, August 2, 2015

Call Your Mother, Kids

First, let me start by saying that I have missed blogging more than I ever imagined I would!  I enjoyed being with my kids, cleared some nagging mental fog, and got a lot accomplished over the last two weeks, but I found myself looking forward to writing again on this day.  I may or may not have even gotten a butterfly or two in my stomach this weekend when I realized that it was almost time to get back to it.  I suppose all that means that blogging has become a natural, routine part of my that I enjoy and look forward to and when it's not there, well, I miss it.  So, like it or not, I'm back and feeling rejuvenated. 

Yesterday, we got Blair all moved into her new apartment for her senior year.  Yes, Davis and I have a child who is a senior in college.  I know what you're thinking.......that we look incredibly young for such, but it's true. 
As we ran errands, unloaded vehicles, and darted around the college town, I saw a lot of students and parents moving in and shopping for living essentials just like we were.  Some of the kids, you could tell, were experiencing their first taste of moving away from home.  They had that twinkle in their eye and its name was freedom.

You remember when you first met freedom......"Hello, freedom.  I have lived in the bedroom down the hall from my parents' room for 18 years.  I have shared a bathroom with my 2 brothers, asked permission every time I've left the premises, sat in the same chair at dinner every night for almost two decades, and have been told on a regular basis to get off the phone, so someone else can use it.  It's so nice to finally meet you.  I've heard good things." 

Something about changing things up a bit seemed attractive by the time college age rolled around.

Yesterday, I got to thinking that for every twinkly-eyed freshman that I saw with a bounce in his step, there was a mother out there somewhere who'd be adjusting to his newfound freedom.  And inside every mother adjusting to the  newfound freedom is her twisted, overactive, innate, maternal imagination that will take her straight to the worst case scenario anytime she isn't able to get in touch with him......and the longer she isn't able to reach him, the larger and dimmer the scenarios will grow in her mind. 

It's a mom thing. 

It's what we do.

I think about our parents back in the day before cell phones.  I don't envy their inability to check in with us when we were late or traveling.  I don't know how it was at your house when you were growing up, but my parents always required me to call when I got to where I was going and then call right before I left to come home.  I thought it was a pain.  I had 15-20 minutes to either call to say I was there or show up at home before my Daddy was in the car retracing my route, while my mother produced enormous amounts of adrenaline and alerted the National Guard.  (She was and still is the world record holder for conclusion jumping......a gold medalist long jumper in the conclusion division.)  Back in the day before cell phones, if you forgot to call and check in or you were running late, all your mother could do was just assume you were dead.  Period.  There could be no other explanation for your tardiness.  Just death. 

So, after having Blair home for a few weeks, I'll have to, once again, get used to not knowing what she's doing most of the time.  Not knowing if she's walking through dark parking lots, going out at night in torrential rains, or being driven around by someone with undiagnosed narcolepsy, who mistakenly took Tylenol PM for her headache.        

With school starting back up again, I won't be alone.  There will be kids just starting to drive, becoming involved in more after school activities, and some will be leaving home.  So, I thought I'd talk with the kids today on how a mother's mind works.......sick, twisted, and distorted as it is.  This might help them understand the plight of their maternal unit better and become more conscientious about checking in with her.    

1)  The Situation: You don't answer her text when you get back to college to let her know you made it home safely. 
The Reason: Your roomies asked you to go grab a bite to eat when you came in and you ran out the door, leaving your phone on your bed. 
What your mother thinks:  A deer ran out into the highway and, because of your love for animals, you disregarded all the things your father ever told you and swerved to miss it.  Your car is not drivable, night is falling, the temperature is dropping, and your phone has fallen between the seats just out of your reach.   

2)  The Situation:  You don't answer the phone when she calls.
The Reason:  You phone is still on silent from your morning classes.
What your mother thinks:  You walked in on a robbery in progress at your apartment and are currently tied to a chair with nylon rope, mouth covered with duct tape and two guys named Bones and Rocco, who are wearing black gloves and ski masks, are discussing how they're going to get rid of this problem that is you.         

3)  The Situation: You seem more quiet than usual and go to your room and shut the door.
The Reason: You are exhausted from a long week and just want to be alone.
What your mother thinks: You have fallen in with the wrong crowd at school and are trying to conceal your experimentation with drugs, alcohol, pornography, huffing, prostitution, online bullying, sexting, synthetic marijuana, and terrorist extremism. 

4)  The Situation:  You don't eat much dinner and she made your favorite. 
The Reason: You stopped for ice cream on your way home.
What your mother thinks: You have something weighing heavy on your mind and you don't feel like you can tell her just yet.  Things've flunked out of school, given up on your dreams of college in hopes of moving back home and starting a heavy metal band named Slow Death, which will practice every night in her garage, where some of your friends may need to crash until the band gets on its feet.  You're not just home for the weekend.  You're home for adulthood. 
5) The Situation:  She hears sirens and you're not home.
The Reason: Police are headed to a false alarm of a home security system. 
What your mother thinks: Police have been called to an armed bank robbery......the bank where you were headed to deposit your first paycheck from the Pizza King and are now being held hostage with a shaky gun pressed against your temple, a SWAT team surrounding the place, and a negotiator on a megaphone trying to talk some sense into the crazed freak who has nothing to lose. 

6)  The Situation: She has a missed call from you and now you won't answer.
The Reason: You had called to chat and then decided to go work out at the gym.
What your mother thinks: You are having car trouble on the side of a deserted road and you tried to call her for help.  When you got no answer, you decided to accept a ride with a truck load of men, who were just released from prison, but seemed nice enough and promised to take you wherever you needed to go.

7)  The Situation:  She has a doctor's office or hospital number on her caller ID. 
The Reason:  Her pap results are in.
What your mother thinks: You are sick.  She doesn't know with what, but you are very, very sick.  She's sure of that much.    

8)  The Situation:  You call and say, "Mom, I have something to tell you." 
The Reason: You have just received some great news about an application you submitted.
What your mother thinks: You have eloped with a carni who runs the Tilt-a-Whirl and have quit school to go on the road and live in his pop up camper in which you will raise the twins you are expecting and the four kids he already has.   

9) The Situation:  Your friend calls her and says, "Mrs. Jones, there's a problem". 
The Reason:  Your car has been towed and you were afraid to call and tell her yourself.
What your mother thinks:  You are unable to speak and she cannot think of one, single condition, which renders one unable to speak, that is good.

So, kids, if any of these situations arise, just know that your mother's brain doesn't work like your brain.

It can be a dark place, sometimes.

Bless her heart.   

And you might as well get used to it.  I am 47 years old and last week, I had 6 missed calls from mine on my phone, which was on silent.  She'd seen a wreck involving a white vehicle and since I am the only one who drives a white vehicle in our city and I wasn't answering my phone, clearly, it had to be me. 

Who else could it be? 

Call your mother, kids. 

I'm sure she's worried sick about you for some reason.

Happy Monday, y'all!    




  1. I am 45 years old and live close to my parent's house so I visit at least three times a week. I HAVE to call my mom as soon as I get in the house so that she knows I wasn't murdered or maimed during the half mile drive home. I can't call before I walk in my door because disaster may be lurking outside, waiting to pounce. I guess she thinks If I fail to make it home, my husband will never notice. Your post had me in fits of laughter and I can't wait to share with my mom and sisters!

    1. Oh my word, Amy!! Do we have the same mother?!? And, no, there is no one qualified to oversee your safety except her. :)

  2. You pegged it with this article! I know exactly what you are talking about! I have picked out pall bearers many times for my children. Glad to see you back.

    1. Hahahahahahahaha!! That's hilarious, Yvette!

  3. Write a book Joni! There was a funny writer named Erma Bombeck. She wrote about women and family life, well, life in general. You have a writers gift, such wit! This post was spot on in every way. The fear of your child's safety is enormous. Your daughter Blair has the sweetest smile, both of you must be proud of each other. Have a beautiful cool day, Kathleen in Az

    1. You're too kind, Kathleen. I do appreciate your sweet words.

  4. This is everything. I'm 35 and my children are still small, but I relate to this as a former young adult and as a new mom. It's a wild ride. :)

    1. It most certainly is wild! The older my kids have gotten, the better I've understood my parents' plight! :)

  5. Oh my word! I am laughing soooo hard! This is EXACTLY what moms think and what makes kids roll their eyes at us! I have loved all of your posts, but this is my favorite!!

    1. Thanks, Denice. I suppose it's a universal Mom problem. Only we can understand.

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks, Stacey :) I appreciate you reading!

  7. a little behind on my blog reading, joni. this is perfect. sending to my daughter right now. :)