Surprisingly, I’ve really struggled this week trying to decide which old post to republish. I am caught between a few: a sentimental one, a more-about-me-and-immigration one or the funny one that I love that got like one bloody comment. So, I went with this one.
My Mum and step-dad come over to visit us for the first (and only) time in the States. Ian was 10-12 weeks old at the time. It was a very bitter-sweet visit. I wrote this a year after they were here (I wasn’t blogging in 2004). Without further a-do…
Perfect Moments – 25 September 2005
I’ve been a little reflective lately, and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because September is drawing to a close, and finally weather my little Scottish thermostat can handle is breezing in. Whatever the reason, I have become slightly philosophical.
It’s hard to believe just over a year has past since my mother and step-father were here to visit us for the very first time. Ian was just 11 weeks old at the time. Having them here was really quite a surreal experience for me. I’d never had my Mum stand in my bathroom, and had the opportunity to admire her as she stood and sprayed her hair, or watched her brush her teeth with such a staring intensity I have never known before.
Each morning, as she finished getting ready for the day, I would bound upstairs and drape myself across her bed and just watch her. When I got tired of that, I’d fire question after question at her and keep her talking so much, we’d be an hour or so behind on our plans for our outings. It was so enthralling to me to introduce her to brands and stores I had been accustomed to driving past every day. Or warning her sales tax is added at the till, a dime looks like 5p, and you can legally turn right on a red light (although I wish we couldn’t).
With the exuberance and energy usually only seen in a child’s eye, I showed her the things Bryan and I had accumulated over our then 3.2 years of marriage, Ian’s collection of clothing and blankets, our photographs, and our favourite scenic haunts.
In retrospect, it was such a bitter-sweet time for me. I was so elated they were finally here, and especially able to meet our little Ian, and watch them dote over him; but it was such a difficult time also, because I knew I had to cherish every tiny moment they were around.
Even the most ordinary of things brought me to tears; and perhaps you could be forgiven for thinking it was my hormones trying to kick back into balance. What a blessing it was to stand in my bedroom and stare down into our garden thirty feet below, watching my mother pull up a chair and soak in the sunshine. With his arm around my shoulder, Bryan asked, “What’s wrong? Why are you crying?” “It’s not every day you look out your bedroom window and your Mum is standing in your yard.” I cherish those moments, as most would their fine china.
As the house quietened down, and time ticked by, resuming our lives became easier. At the time, I had never imagined how having them here and then watching them leave for Scotland, would have such a profound affect on me.
I made a point of keeping the door to their bedroom closed religiously. The bathroom was more challenging. Out of necessity, I decided to distance myself from it for two weeks. The fragrance of my mother’s body wash seemed to have permeated the entire room, and I found it emotionally difficult to experience the smallest whiff of it. She had left a large remainder of it for me, and admittedly, I only started using it at the beginning of this month.
Wherever my reflections take me, I have learned never to take anything for granted. Every day is a special occasion and calls for our best plates and silverware. And most importantly, there are no perfect days, just perfect moments.