Quality Time

photo 2-3

This picture could be the catalyst for one of two posts.

The first option is one where I write about how life is so busy and it’s important to let things like basic housekeeping slide sometimes in order to spend more quality time with your kids. It’s all about priorities. They are only young once, you’ll never get this time back. Really, what’s more important: a clean living room or playing Lego with your boys? We moms have to sacrifice our own pride in our homes in order to nurture these little people placed in our care.

This is not that post.

I’m going with the second option, or what I call “The Truth”.

It was Friday night, I had some shows to catch up on the PVR. Chips were consumed. M&Ms may or may not have been involved. I did a lot of socializing via my phone. It was too late to wake up the boys to get them to do it (something I intend to remedy today).

It really is all about priorities.

What I Learned from Ron the Auto Shop Guy

Today I faced one of my biggest fears. Okay, two. Alright a lot. A lot of fears.

I had to ride with Ron the Auto Shop Guy to pick up my car from the mechanic.

First of all, just going to any type of repair or auto body shop raises many stress-inducing questions:

  • Where do I park? Right at the bay? In the courtesy area? (It’s NOT obvious)
  • Do I take the keys with me or leave them in the ignition?
  • Will they ask a lot of questions? (my answers are limited to: “It just started going click click click-click” or “I swear I didn’t leave the lights on”).

And don’t start throwing around fancy mechanic terms like “switch” or “hood”. My eyes will glaze over and I will just nod (and it’s not a nod of understanding).

Even just paying the invoice causes my stomach to tighten. Do I wait for someone to come to the till or should I cough loudly? There is no sign outlining proper procedure. And once he takes out the pen to start going through the itemized list I just go to my happy place (it’s M&Ms, always M&Ms).

Second, I detest awkward silences. Riding in my own car with a stranger at the wheel is quite possibly the longest 12 minutes of my life. If it hadn’t been raining today, we would have had 11 minutes of silence instead of 10 due to lack of subject matter.

But today I had a realization. Silence does not always need to be filled. I KNOW. Complete mind shift. I was raised to chat up hairdressers, grocery clerks, bank tellers, and strangers waiting in line along with me. All it takes are a few generic questions and a friendly smile.

Maybe it’s because Ron had the heat a bit high, or the rain was particularly soothing streaming down the window, or it might have been that the wiper blades were especially hypnotic, I don’t know, but about 3 minutes into the drive I was feeling mellow and I realized a few things:

  1. I don’t care if Ron is from here originally or moved here as a youth
  2. I don’t care how long Ron has been a mechanic
  3. I don’t need to know his thoughts on the rain or the forecast for the week

This new found sense of calm was quickly replaced, however, with some very real questions and concerns:

  1. What if I get gassy?
  2. What if RON gets gassy?

Today’s real life lesson: just talk to Ron, keep that chit-chat going at all costs.

The Origin

A monumental day arrived recently. I knew it was coming, but not so soon. A day that confirmed my long-standing suspicions.

I am, indeed, turning into my mom.

Now, this is not a complete transformation. I look eerily similar to my dad and have some striking personality traits in common with him. However, I am most definitely taking on many things “Mom”. 

Unbeknownst to me, this transformation has been underway for years. It wasn’t sudden or obvious, like when we brought our firstborn home. Nope. It snuck up on me gradually as the toddler years hit.

Perhaps it was the day I realized just how many times I had swept the kitchen floor and I heard her whispering from my teen years, “You think helping me clean on Saturday is rough? When you were young I had to vacuum every other day to keep up with the mess!”  “Chin over your plate” took on a whole new meaning that day. 

As we began toilet training our second born, I couldn’t really recall what we did with the firstborn and her words from two years earlier came rushing back, “Toilet training? I don’t know, you just learned.” Oh, so true.

I snap my fingers for the boys to be quiet when I’m on the phone. Mom

I tell them to make their beds because “we take pride in our home”. Mom

I threaten to keep all the unclaimed stuff lying around the house. Mom

Several months ago, one of the boys was complaining about some injustice or injury and felt he was quite hard done by. Without missing a beat, I ushered in my most Mom-inspired moment to date when I uttered these two words:

“Tough Bananas”.

Thanks, Mom.