Thursday, November 03, 2005

An Ode to Bee-bee

My mother just left yesterday, and can I say that while I loved my mother before I gave birth to my own offspring, I had no idea what a saintly soul she was until about nine and a half months ago. It is so amazing to have a grandma (or in our case, a “Bee-bee”) around. First, she loves the Boy Wonder more than life itself, which means we will being paying extra for the hot tub and specialty coffee beverages at her nursing home.

Second, she actually likes to do all the tedious chores that never seem to get done around here. She vacuumed twice (twice, I said!) during the 6-day span of her visit, which has to be a new standing record in this house. Every time I turned around, she was doing laundry, folding diapers, doing dishes—it was like having my best friend come over and ask if she could use my place to train for the Olympic housekeeping trials.

And if that wasn’t enough, she cooked wonderful meals every night, enough to be able to leave leftovers for five days. Not only did she free up my husband from his daily cooking duties, she relieved us from having to have our usual witty what-will-we-be-having-for-dinner-bit for almost a week. And what did I do to deserve this kind of treatment? Apparently, nothing more than grow in her womb for nine months, scream with colic for hours on end and get caught making out in the park by police when I was 16.

It’s not just the things she did for us, though. It was being able to talk about my kid, her horseback riding, our favorite mystery writers, my (apparently boring-ass) dissertation (it put her to sleep) and have a friend other than my husband on call for a few days. She bought us meals and groceries without making us feel like po’ grad-student charity cases, she helped my son learn to stand, crawl over obstacles and eat 3 new finger foods, and she held everything together during a dicey incident involving a leaky swim diaper and a missing change of clothes. I. do. not. deserve. her.

I honestly cannot figure it. What is with all the special treatment? I have to assume she’s just buttering me up to get access to the grandkid (she did ask me if I actually thought she was here to see me—should that have been a hint?), because while I wasn’t the worst kid in the world, I’m sure there have been many times when she would have traded me for a Jack Russell terrier (and she is not a fan of small dogs). I have to assume that these maternal stirrings I’ve been feeling for the past year-plus provide the best hint as to why such a wonderful woman would spend her time and energy on a harmless but kinda neurotic person like me. All I can say is that when Heavy D gets to be my age, I will consider myself lucky if he likes me half as much.