Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Unashamed

I had the opportunity to talk with my mom today after quite a while. I'm feeling rather badly about the situation she is finding herself in. To begin, both myself and my younger brother C~ left home in the same week in August. I have not really been "home" in about four years, but I was still around for every holiday and lots of visits. C~ left for college at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, and I flew to Bucure┼čti. She had my youngest brother E~ left, but he is a senior in high school. He really isn't there, to be honest.


With the wrap-up of the football season, she is essentially saying goodbye to a fall tradition she has enjoyed for 13 years, since the boys were just little guys. Every day that passes is one less day she has to be a mother with kids in the house. She lives halfway between being an empty-nester and a nurturing mother. Additionally, E~ recently made the decision to repeat his senior year of high school and study abroad for a year, probably in Croatia. This means that if I stay in Europe, the child closest to home will be C~ at a 10 hour car ride away.


If you happen to know my mom, be extra nice to her, okay? She seems to be managing quite well, but I'm still sad for her. Maybe send her an encouragement card or take her out for lunch or just give her a hug. She will be needing lots of that in the next few months. I told her today that she raised exactly the kind of children one wants- strong, independent people. Her reply: "And they all want to leave me."


Regardless, this post really isn't about my poor mother. It is about something we talked about that makes me laugh and horrifies me at the same time.


She was recently at a gathering and someone made a comment that was just downright rude about the physical appearance of an employee at a local store. She didn't really know this particular person, but she made fun of them good-naturedly by referring to a book that I'm quite sure the person had not read, considering the fact that they didn't understand the reference at all. (T~ does this a lot, getting a lot of pleasure from being smarter than people without them even knowing it.) She told me the whole story, and after I reigned in my laughter, I just sat here. This woman who said this terrible thing didn't know many people at this gathering. First of all- she wouldn't have said it if she didn't think people were going to agree with her, right? Secondly- what the hell is she thinking that she WON'T tell people?


In other news, I got a wonderful surprise in the mail today. I had a package notice and didn't know who it could be from- it was an amazing gift from my cousins Mary and Brian. It is so sweet to feel the support and love from the States. I am often struck by just how lucky I am, to be living in this place, with the opportunity to travel and develop my teaching skills and meet new people. But I am constantly reminded- whether by emails or Skype dates or Facebook posts or packages- that I am not alone.


And I now have 176 Crystal Light packets, in addition to slippers, candy, gum, chapstick, a generous gift card, and hand sanitizer. Booyah.


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