My girls moved out years ago and my stepsons don’t live with us, but I’m still the mom with everything.
My oldest daughter was home this weekend for a wedding. She was getting ready for the rehearsal dinner Friday when she realized she forgot her razor. And she had a hole in her stockings. And the shoes she brought weren’t suited for her outfit. And she didn’t have a lighter jacket than her winter coat. And the batteries in her camera were losing power.
That’s where I always come in. I’m never without an extra razor or two and the junk drawer is stocked with assorted batteries. Carlene and I wear the same size stockings and shoes and I had a sweater that she could wear and not be bogged down by a heavy coat.
When the kids visit and forget a toothbrush? Mom’s got an extra. Forget deodorant? Mom has both roll-on and stick. Need to ship a package? Mom’s got boxes and tubes and tape and a postal scale. Cold? There’s always plenty of jackets, mittens, boots, and hats. When my girls don’t have quite the right shirt or skirt, they know I probably do.
Do you remember “Let’s Make A Deal”? Sometimes Monty Hall would ask people in the audience if they had things like paper clips, egg timers, string, magnets, clothes pins, odd things like that in their bags or purses. If they did, they’d get $50 or a chance to win a prize behind door number one, two or three. My purse is “Let’s Make a Deal” ready. I’ve got Band-Aids, a nail file, Tic Tacs, two kinds of gum, retail “member” cards from every major store, paper, pens, pencils, a $2 bill, lipstick, lip gloss, dental floss, hand lotion, a compact, comb, aspirin, Celebrex, Xanax, antiacids, Kleenex, vitamins, postage stamps, and god knows what else in there.
The funny thing is that I’m not a pack rat. I don’t hang on to things that I won’t use within a reasonable amount of time. In fact, I’m prone to throwing things or giving things away and then realizing a short time later that I need them. I think it’s just years of practice that keeps me in supply of useful things beyond the scope of normal. Why have one screwdriver when three or four in varying sizes have more potential uses? One curling iron is a good thing, but one half-inch iron, one one-inch iron, and a flat iron is even better. If you have straight hair, I have shampoo for that. Curly hair? Yup. Got that, too.
My pantry and refrigerator always have enough food for unexpected company or for days when I don’t feel like making the meal I’d planned. I hate running out of cooking spray so I always pick up a can when at the grocery store. Same with dog treats and sweet potatoes. They keep, they’re cheap and I avoid running out at a time when I need them the most. (Not that one needs sweet potatoes, but they’re an easy back-up food when I don’t feel like cooking anything elaborate.)
Besides, I like being the mom with everything. When your kids leave home, you still want them to need you in some capacity. I’m glad my daughter could wear my shiny black boots last Friday. I’m glad I had a razor she could use, and pantyhose to wear and a sweater. Having batteries on hand saved her a trip to the store thus preventing her from rushing to the rehearsal dinner.
My kids take for granted that I’ll have extra stuff on hand, but they don’t live their lives expecting everyone will have extra stuff on hand for them. They’re quite independent. But I won’t lie. I like that they still rely on old Mom once in awhile.
They’ll all be here tomorrow for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I’m sure there will be something they’ve forgotten or realize they need. I’m ready. I bought a few extra toothbrushes at the store today. I’ve got plenty of laundry soap, a Tide and Clorox pen, gift wrap, tape and scissors, and extra blankets and slippers in case it gets cold.
I’m like that Peter Gabriel song, “I need to be needed…I love to be loved.”