I am a terrible excuse for a daughter. And I feel really terrible about it. You see, I’ve had a sort of strained realtionship with my own mom. She and I have made amends and things seem to be going so much better. Until recently. It all has to do with the upcoming holidays. She wants to see us, and I don’t blame her–holidays are for family togetherness afterall. The problem is, we live a long ways away from one another. A good 10 hour drive, at best. Add that with two busy kids and the craziness of the holidays, plus blended families and….. argh…I am getting stressed out just thinking about it!!
About a week ago she called to ask me what she should order the girls for Christmas. Catalog in hand (I could hear the pages turning and crinkling), she asked me, “How about this?” and would continue with the sparkling catalog description that made the gift sound like Santa himself was going to be delievering it to my front porch. ” Or what about that?” she would continue with yet another fantasically perfect description. I don”t know. I don’t know. I just don’t know! Isn’t that the beauty of a gift, anyway? You don’t have to shop for it?
We finally decided on a couple of toys for the girls. I was pleased with her selection of a puppy/vet kit for Kelly (who wants to be a vet) and I helped make the final selection on a sing-along microphone with stand for my high-energy performer, Kate. Done. Or so I thought.
Just as I was sitting down–all comfy and cozy with a cup of hot tea–ready to hammer out some much needed writing on a particular project, the phone rings. Sigh. “Hello?! Yes, hi mom.” Well, the bottom line is, the gifts cannot be shipped directly to us in Chicago afterall. She will have to pay for postage twice…unless of course I could get myself down to the “south” where she lives. I can’t. I told her with two kids who have two different school/two different holiday breaks and a husband who is needed at the office, I couldn’t possibly make the 10-hour drive alone. She was more than disappointed. I think I heard a tear on the phone. I am a bad daughter.
She is trying so hard. I know she is. She wants the girls to have something fun for Christmas that they are going to enjoy. She wants me to “endorse” her selection (lots of pressure for me) and I just don’t think I am any help. The worst comes next: she tells me that in order for the microphone to work, Kate needs an MP3 player….”do you have one of those?” she wants to know. No. I do not. She calls the company to inquire if it’s really needed. No, it’s not. In the meantime, I look at the product discription on the Internet. I read the reviews. Everyone says it’s “junk.” I tell her. I think I hear another tear.
I think I am the worst daughter. I think I am a jerk. I don’t know what I should do. And by now, my “writing time” is up, and I feel terrible. Lousy. My tea is cold and so are my story ideas.
So much for writing today.