I woke up today with thoughts of mom. We visited yesterday, and as I arrived, as usual, we hugged when saying hello. As I turned to walk away, I felt a hand up the back of my shirt (and heard a little giggle).
“Let me fix this for you.”
“Your bra is folded back here, let me fix it.”
“There, that’s better.” And it was.
My bra tends to fold under at the back. She felt it during our hug. She went on auto pilot and fixed my problem. It’s one of the things mothers do best, we fix things.
While moms definitely fix big things, sometimes the seemingly insignificant matters matter, too. I do it, too. I won’t apologize.
Later in the day after our visit, I had a haircut. My hairapist, even though she’s 29, was working alone. Minutes after we’d started, what appeared to be a shady dude came in asking how long we’d be. At her direction, he took a seat in the hall. I could see him in the mirror in front of me, and I didn’t care for his mannerisms.
He was eying her.
After about five minutes, I was practically squirming in my chair.
“Quick question? Do you trust that guy?”
She stopped, smiled, and looked at me with appreciation. Sincere appreciation.
With a sheepish smile, I said “I went into mother-mode.”
“Oh, no. That’s OK. I do trust him. He’s harmless.” More smiles. She proceeded to tell me how and where they met. Half way through her account, dude’s sister and niece showed up. I let out a sigh of relief.
Had I received a hint of hesitation at my question, no way in hell would I leave my hairapist alone. His sister saved his bacon. Had she not shown, I’d have planted myself in the parking lot–feet away from the front door–and gone back in with any flimsy excuse that I’d forgotten something, anything, to make sure she was OK.
I have a daughter. I have sons. You don’t mess with mother-mode.
“I dare you,” it beckoned.
Could I keep my hands to myself? Of course not.
“Here, let me tuck in your tag.”
“Oh.” “Thanks.” She smiled.
She obviously would have had a miserable day had I not made the appropriate adjustment. Mission accomplished. Somehow it felt right.
It is rather fascinating, how quickly, how strongly, how very automatically this kicks in. It could be something as little as a tag (to scary dudes threatening our daughters) to set it off. It’s built in. It’s tenacious. It’s a force that gives me pause.
And there it is.
Mother-mode is all consuming. Once you enter mother-mode, you never leave it and it never leaves you. It doesn’t really matter which child is in need; it could be yours or anyone’s; that is hardly the point.
I recall a stupendous example when my son was ten. I took matters into my own hands. He’d been diagnosed with asthma, and school rules mandated all medications be kept in the office. Really? Hmmm.
I had visions of my child on the playground or out in the field, in distress (or worse), fighting to breathe, and having to wait for someone to figure out what was wrong and then run in to get his inhaler from the office, miles away.
Ain’t gonna happen. Not my kid.
The fix? Mother-mode kicked in. I purchased a pocket-sized zip pouch and an easy snap belt. I sewed them together to make a belt he could wear under his t-shirt. He’d have it, albeit hidden on his person, every day.
We told no one. My son was under my strict instruction to keep quiet, to not show or tell the kids. This is the child whose lungs collapsed at birth. I nearly lost him once. I would risk nothing. If the school found out, they would have to deal with the mother lode of this mother-mode.
Fortunately, the inhaler was never needed on an emergency basis while he played on the playground; he was OK. The office had their inhaler, my son had his. The school never was the wiser. (Muahahahahahaha….)
My mother didn’t have a fancy job, nor was the one she did have high-paying. None of that matters. I’ve come to view her “job” in two ways.
Small picture: Mom has been the peace maker, the giver. A comfort keeper, if you will. She has always been the quiet support for us all. It is and has been a collection, a summation of all the seemingly insignificant tasks, one after another. It’s always been a constant and is ongoing.
Big picture: That, and she accomplished the toughest job in the world: she earned the respect and undying love of her two daughters. All the little things add up to this very big one.
Her job wasn’t high paying, but she earned the pay off.
Sometimes it’s the little things.