Friday, May 21, 2010

Autonomy as a Teachable Moment.

I’m trying to remember what year it was when Hammer pants and those wide ribboned steel toe patent leather shoes were in style? Perhaps Google will know.

Right now, I’m just remembering the styles I needed to have to survive.

Being broke was an assault on the reality, so I easily and aptly forgot it every time Mummi and I walked downtown Boston past Baker’s shoe store. I needed, and that’s all I knew.

This was also in the height of Mummi’s illness. Reality seemed to have us both beat, though mine was elective and my mother’s not so much. She ignored my requests when she could, other times, well, were other times.

She did do something I didn’t expect, perhaps a month or two into my biweekly requests. She offered me an allowance.

I leapt at the offer.

At home, I’d do what chores could fit into our studio apartment. I cleaned with the materials we had, and became an expert at fixing all the broken things we seemed to accumulate over the years. I prided myself at getting to a job before a job even existed. I conspired on what I would buy with my cash.

I worried in the back of my mind that Mummi wouldn’t be able to keep to her word. I knew better than to ask her, than to remind her. I just waited until our biweekly shopping day.

When the day came, it started out as usual. A long walk downtown (Mummi had a fear of underground trains that lasted for a few years), so we walked nearly everywhere. A stop at Faneuil Hall to purchase fresh fruit and veggies for the week.

Finally, laden with cabbage and strawberries, hot and tired from walking under the sun, we walked past the shoe store. I’m gulping now thinking about it.

Mummi gave no indication that we were going to go in, or continue walking past. I simply followed her, and was happy to walk inside when the door opened and a gust of air from the AC burst out.

We got the best MC-Hammer look-alike shoes there. Perhaps they weren’t, but they were. And it’s funny, those things looked ridiculous, but for a week, perhaps two, I was stylish from the ankle down.

So, when Mummi and I (on some levels) switched places, I’ve honored her need for pocket money. After all, we all need (or I think at the very least) benefit, from making our own decisions, and the instant gratification of the give-get that money can bring.

So, she saved the funds. I wondered what she was saving for. Out loud, and on numerous occasions, but, still, autonomy as my mom’s interpreted it, was keeping her own damn business, her own damn business. She knows what she’s doing, she’s told me.

Who am I to question that?

A few days ago, I called. Mummi was happy to the point where I was getting concerned. Was this pre-episodic? Was she OK?

Double yes. She’d simply purchased herself a sewing machine. Carried it home on public transportation (yes, I’m imagining it) and was happily making who-knows-what gorgeousness on her new Brother™.

Perhaps she’ll make me some pants for my Hammer shoes.

Go, Mummi. Go.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

More show. Less say.


Oh yes, the day was gorgeous, the crowd was large. The feeling was great. It was. Zora and I have a story to tell, but wanted to share this slideshow first.

Que cute, eh?

Monday, May 17, 2010

May is Mental Health Month

Just in case you needed an ever-green opportunity to celebrate, learn about, or look into bringing Mental Health and Wellness into the forefront, it's been gorgeously captivated by May.

Click here to learn more: May is Mental Health Month

More soon,