Since Caitlin had her foot surgery this week, her mom has been staying with us.
We girls definitely have the better end of the bargain. For instance, last night she cooked a big pot of chili in Beth’s Dutch oven with cornbread on the side and served us all supper. Today at work, Caitlin sent us all pictures of the new curtains she’d hung up. And I came home tonight to find the kitchen cleaned, the dishwasher unloaded, and African violets in little flower pots on the window sill. Poor Caitlin’s mom, for all her kindness towards us and our home, is sleeping on a cold air mattress at the foot of her daughter’s bed.
There’s something so comforting about having a mom around, even if she’s not my mom. Not just because things are magically cooked and cleaned and cared for. But that someone cares enough to cook and clean and care for you.
When you’re living in a city away from home, you learn to take care of yourself. Everything our moms used to do for us, my friends and I now do ourselves: cooking, shopping, laundry, banking, scrubbing the disgusting mildew-y grout between the shower tiles. In a functional sense, we’ve kind of become our own moms.
But Caitlin’s mom and her care make me miss being a kid. When my mom took care of everything. When my sweaty tennis clothes in the hamper would reappear fresh and clean on my bed. When the coffee was already made every morning and the fridge was always stocked with the expensive fruit I can no longer afford.
Even more, I miss my mom.