>When did I become my mom? It happened so gradually and sneakily. All those adolescent years I railed, ranted and rebelled over the steady, calming oversight she unstintingly provided as I grew into my independence, all those moments I totally resented being parented, all came into extreme focus in Buffalo at CGOA Chain Link. Because I spent one whole day mothering my mother.
She has only functional abilities in English, only the merest glimmer of the many things I have written about her and no idea at all of the resulting notoriety she owns among my friends and fans. There had never before been an opportunity for me to introduce Mom to my crochet world. She is even less happy with traveling than I am, and can hardly be coaxed out of her comfy home except for the weekly line dancing classes with her senior groups. And the ritual bus trips to Atlantic City to commune with her favorite penny slots.
Finally, earlier this month at the event of events for the crochet community, I brought along my mom. We road tripped the 9 hour drive together, with me driving and Mom dispensing coffee, snacks and running commentary. She stayed at my brother’s home not far from downtown Buffalo, and mercifully not with me at the venue hotel. Relationships between mothers and daughters aren’t always easy. I envy those women who can honestly say that they could spend time in close quarters with their moms and not go stark mad. I expected the worst. What I got was a revelation. Illumination.
You know how parents are advised to really listen to their kids. Well, for the first time in many years I had an opportunity to truly listen to my mom. I didn’t make her hang with me the entire week of the conference since I anticipated I’d be running around taking care of the business of eventing. I set up a schedule for her one day visit to the convention center. I tried to anticipate her needs, play on her interests, make her feel comfortable among so many ardent and loud strangers. I went so far as to draft my friends as watchdogs to show her around while I was busy and couldn’t just play, for fear that she might wander off alone and feel lost. In other words, I was mothering her. I needn’t have worried.
She charmed all my friends being her adorable self, without my shepherding, without my running interference, without translation. She shopped the market on her own, purchasing a gaggle of beaded bracelets that will surely wow the crowd at line dance class. She examined every entry in the 2009 CGOA Design Contest and voted for her Peoples’ Choice. She voted twice, actually. Her sentimental choice was, now that I can report her transgression without repercussions, the pretty pink freeform vest designed by her new friend (and my best conference mate) Diane Moyer.
Hokey Smokes! That is so ME… voting two times, that’s something I would have done had I not been one of the official judges! She sat in with me for the last hour of Dee Stanziano’s PushmiPullyu class, and although I doubt she understood what was being taught, still she made friends with class members. She attended the CGOA membership meeting that evening and circulated with me during Drew “Mr. Hospitality” Emborsky’s New Member welcoming party after the general meeting. She even got to chatter in Japanese with my new friends Kang and Kazue, the reps from Tulip Co.