Where do I start in describing my mother’s two-week visit?
I guess with the beginning. It’s a good thing she mixed up those numbers. She thought she had found tickets from Edmonton to LA for $183. (By the time she realized it was $381, she was too excited to back out.)
She arrived only the day before our anniversary, but by the time I had to leave for tutoring and then go on my hot date the boys were more comfortable with her than any other babysitter we’ve had. Paul and I went to Damon’s. Even with the sweet deal we got on a restaurant.com gift card, we still ended up plunking down $65 on our meal. (translation: we’d have paid $85 otherwise!) But it was our NINTH ANNIVERSARY! and we hadn’t eaten at Damon’s in four years. Totally worth it. We got the coconut shrimp appetizer, the garlic bread, the big salad, and then Paul had a steaky-something (sorry, the names all blurr in my head) and I had the fish special: tempura mahi mahi. Half of my food made it into the take-home box, and I’m embarassed to admit that for the first time in my life I did not finish a dessert at a restaurant. (The orange slice cake our waitress brought us for our anniversary!) I have never been so defeated. The food left over was enough for both me and Mum for lunch the next day.
We went shopping a lot. She plans to get a job as soon as she’s settled in Edmonton, reentering the workforce for almost the first time in 30 years. She needed clothes and was delighted to discover that much of what’s in style now is similar to what she wore when last she was teaching. I helped her find some amazing deals (ifIdosaysomyself.)
We went to parks and pools. We went to JoAnn’s. We stayed home and read stories with the boys. We went to El Molino Viejo. She spent some time with her sister-in-law in Glendora and the following weekend we all went out for Adam’s mission homecoming pool party and bbq.
We ate out more in two weeks than we normally do in several months. McCormick and Schmick’s for her birthday dinner (the boys were at their pajama party,) Caffe Primo, Gin Sushi, Acapulco on the fly for lunch because Paul was passing through. And our home-meals were much more elaborate than normal as we planned meals based on foods she hadn’t tried before.
We went on long walks because with an extra adult we could take an extra stroller.
I think she found clarity in her own life by being able to step away for a while. I’m glad. I’m also glad the boys got to finally spend quality time with her. They know her now. They will miss her. It sure was nice to have an extra adult to read stories and play with the boys. It was nice to have an extra adult help tidy up the place.
And after two weeks, it is also nice to have our old routine back, and our living room back. I am amazed at how much more cleaning I get done when I’m not chatting with someone — already my place is cleaner than it ever was when she was here. Why sacrifice my precious visit by cleaning? (justbetweenyouandme,I’malsorelievedtonothavetothinksomuchaboutmyfamily’sproblems)
Now my children know her. They will remember her. They will miss her. And now when she looks at their photos on flickr she’ll hear their noises and know the personality behind the expression. It was a priceless visit. I miss her. But I’m very glad for her to start her new life in a new town.