by Chrysa Smith

You did what? You don’t like to listen! You always have to be different. Told you so!

I think I’ve heard all of those statements from my mother at one time or another. It just seems to be a mother’s mantra. And I think I used at least two of them myself in the mothering game.
But what is so irksome, is that still, some 52 years later, I’m still hearing them—even though I’m an adult—or at least, I thought so.

 I think it’s worse with daughters. Maybe sons just blow it off, don’t hear it (that’s where men get their selective hearing from) or mother’s are so grateful that their sons still talk to them after marrying, that they hold their very itchy tongues (they save that for the daughter-in-laws!)

So it was really no surprise when my 90 year old mom told me not to throw her 90th birthday party on or near her February birthday. But quite frankly, at this age, I figured I’d blow off her advice and plan the party while she was still healthy and able. So I very slickly sent the family ‘evites’—invitations online—and that’s when it all went south.

I think some of the older relatives didn’t know what to make of an evite and blew it off, thought it was junk mail, or just plain never saw it. So I spent time collecting rsvp’s like leaves in the wind—sporadic at best; some still out of touch. But I pressed on. The weather forecast looked promising. On a very precipitating week, the weekend prediction was mild and sunny. At least early in the week.

By the middle of the week, the weather was worsening, and the forecast called for a merger of two storms, churning into one of those ‘Noreasters’ that hit us here in the Midatlantic and north. Connecticut and the rest of New England was predicted to get two feet of snow, and here? Well, a shaky forecast. Snow or rain—a mix–or something colder. But I pressed on.

I called the relatives thinking that maybe, we could move the party back a day, but the relatives had a scheduled Christening on the other side of the family. So, we were stuck. The forecast loomed large and it seemed clear that we had to cancel and reschedule. Luckily, the caterer was amiable and we were able to reschedule without having to consume the mass quantities of food prepared for 18 people.

In the end, I go back to the beginning of this tale of woe. Mother told me she knew best—and you know what? She actually did. I played the odds, cast off the perennial worry and doom that seem to go with my mom’s activities. But this time, I had to admit she was right. 

Now if only this mother could hear the same.