“I’d kick it, but then coffee would get all over my pants.” And mine, so thanks for not kicking the coffee…Mom.
You may think this was a mature decision made by a seven-year-old, except it’s what my septagenarian mother said to me Saturday morning upon spotting a Starbucks cup sitting upright near my car in the parking lot at Kmart.
This is the world my mother lives in, and it’s a lovely place filled with childish deeds and happy thoughts.
For example, when I showed my mother (whom we call “Hommy” because my niece wasn’t able to pronounce “Grammy”) this photo of her grandson playing in the snow fort he made in our front yard after Snowmeggedon 3…
…which of the following do you think was her response?
a. “My, he is a clever boy.”
b. “Wow, that’s a lot of snow.”
c. “I want to play in there!”
(For the correct answer, see: Starbucks cup, kick.)
This is the woman who, upon being dared by my high school BFF Diane to do a back-flip off the diving board at her pool, she did it. Of course, that was a quarter century ago. She doesn’t do back-flips off the diving board anymore, though I suspect that’s simply because my parents no longer have a diving board at their pool. Instead, my mother jumps in the pool in her clothes and attacks us with her Super Soaker, affectionately entitled “The Hominator” by her grandchildren.
Her ability to see the bright side of things is unsurpassed, except perhaps by cartoon characters on PBS Kids. When I took my mother one rainy morning to her doctor’s appointment in a windowless office in Manhattan, she exclaimed mid-appointment, “I’ll bet the sun is out now!”
“Yes, Mom,” I mimicked a super-enthusiastic announcer from Blues Clues Live. “And the birds are singing, and the roads are paved with gold!”
Her chief complaint for her doctor that day: She could no longer dance the Charleston anymore. Pardon me, I forgot to mention it was her Parkinson’s doctor, who confessed to never hearing such a complaint before. But then my mom had moved on complaining that she gets tired after she plays paddle tennis in 20 degree weather. Her doctor, who is maybe half my mother’s age, answered wide-eyed, “I probably would be, too.” But by then Hommy was demonstrating her inadequate Charleston.
We can’t keep up.
Next visit I’ll point out that though my mother can no longer dance the Charleston (which was in vogue before she was even born, so what’s the issue? Never mind…), she can kick cups of coffee and climb into snow forts. At least, she wants to, anyhow, and that’s more than I can say for most people her age — or my age, or any age past puberty.
My mother’s world is a wonderful place to visit where no one ages, and everyone drops by to say hello. While we were out on Saturday, she ran into three friends on three separate occasions, all who were thrilled to see her.
In my mother’s world, she stumbles upon an entire aisle of books at Kmart exclaming, “I just finished my book last night, and here’s one I want to read!”
In my mother’s world, the glass isn’t half-full, it’s overflowing.
Look out, she might kick it.
Share, share, that’s fair: Got an optimist in your family tree? Or maybe a pessimist? Tell us a story about him or her.