Like I do many days, I call my mom on my way home from work.
We go through the standard greetings. She tells me about her latest medical appointments. She gives me a summary of her plans for the week. She goes over the same information about my dad. And, even though it’s only Tuesday, she asks me about my plans for the coming weekend.
I tell her that my 14 year old has two more shows of Into the Woods to perform in, so my husband I will be going to see the show both nights and going out with friends after the show on Saturday. I tell her that my 12 year old has an interview on Saturday, because she wants to do crew work for a theater group this summer. My mother asks if Claire’s show is over after this weekend, and I tell her that, yes, these are the last two shows. My mom comments that Claire is going to miss being in the show when it’s over, and I agree with her that she probably will. She always does.
And then my mom asks, “So, what are you all doing the weekend?”
I watch the car ahead of me turn across the oncoming lane. I tap my fingers on the steering wheel. I take a deep breath, and then I say: “Remember, mom, I just told you. Claire’s in a play. Paige has a crew interview.”
“Oh, yes.. of course,” she says. “I remember.”
Once, every day for a week she told me about how my Aunt Grace’s microwave was being installed above her stove, at her children’s insistence, even though my Aunt Grace couldn’t reach it there. Some days when she started the story, I told her I’d already heard it. Most days I just listened and responded to the story again, like I’d already done, like I knew I’d do again.