A moment when my mother revealed what kind of a mother she is.
Bicycles and Suitcases Do Not Mix
Earlier this week I stayed the night at my parents’ house while traveling nearby for a doctor’s appointment.
I traveled primarily on bicycle.
Suitcases and bicycles do not mix.
All that I could bring, therefore, was what would fit in my backpack.
My travel belongings included just a few pieces of business attire: button-down shirt, dress pants, a tie, etc.
At my parents’s house I put my clothes in the wash. When the clothes were done my mother kindly brought them to me in the guest room.
Then, going the extra mile, she also brought a clothes hangar–to keep the clothes wrinkle free.
As she handed me my clothes she began trying to hang them up.
“No thanks, mom. I’m okay.”
“It’s really no trouble,” she replied, hooking the hangar on the shelf, and buttoning the dress shirt to be hung.
“It’s really alright, mom.”
“It will take just a minute, and then you’ll look decent.”
“I’m traveling by bike. No suitcase. It’s going to get wadded up in my backpack anyway.”
“Oh, okay,” and she dropped the shirt on the bed, retrieved the hangar, and left the room with a smile.
It was the abruptness with which her attitude shifted that so caught my attention.
One moment she was brushing off my protestations, as though I was still the teenage boy who refused to wear a shirt to school that I had not also worn to bed, and the next she was happily waltzing off to the next task in managing the house.
It wasn’t until it was 100% clear that the effort was truly fruitless that she left off worrying about my soon-to-be wrinkled business attire.
How many times has this happened, I wondered? Somewhere along the way she’s learned how care about her son just the right amount. How much practice could that require?