Yesterday I got out of my mother's car at the airport amidst a little Pacific Northwest drizzle and a healthy dose of "I'm gonna miss you" sadness. I had spent the last two weeks visiting, and nearly the entire time someone was sick. First, Hootie and I arrived with some upper respiratory funk (sinus infection? cold? flu?) and promptly got on antibiotics. Evidently we either caught a heinous strain of whatever it was, or it's viral, because the antibiotics didn't even touch it, and we're still hanging on to a bit of post nasal drip/cough. Then my poor sweet nephew Zakky caught something that started to resemble what we had (thick, green glop oozing from the nasal orifice and a pretty decent fever) but rapidly morphed into an ear infection and double pink eye on top of the nasty green slime. My sister caught something akin to all of this, with a sore throat and ear, and my new baby nephew Sam caught his first sickness at 5 months, including the pink eye and a wicked cough. Fate spared my mom the bacterial/viral heebyjeebies, but lashed out and gave her the achy/shaky/chills/nausea flu instead, for the last 5 days of our trip. I mean, really, WTF? We were all seriously bummed out that not once did we get together to barbeque and drink rum and cokes in the delightful Indian summer weather, not once did I even set foot into anything besides WalMart and Target, much less my favorite antique stores, and aside from doing a little shrubbery rearranging in my mom's yard, did very few of my typical helpful daughter chores. We did a lot of sitting around staring at each other, saying, "this sucks." Wanting to rent movies but going to bed at 8 pm. Avoiding the infectious pink eye and spraying Lysol or Clorox water on everything in sight. Of course, having a nice dose of Mom and sister time is worth it even if we're sick, but it still sucks to have had such high hopes for a visit, and have them fall soooo short of what we had wanted to achieve together.
With this weighing on our hearts, knowing I won't see my mom for another few months, I got out of the car and took the bags from the trunk. My usually stoic mother gave Hootie and me lots of extra hugs and kisses goodbye, and at the very end, started to cry. In years past, I was the crier, starting the gradual fattening of my eyelids and stuffing of my nose before we even left the driveway. My mother would always stoicly pat my leg, or hold my hand, and chatter on about something or other while I cried. But the last year or so, I have been able to keep busy with the toddler and avoid my own personal crying. BUT, not if my mother cries first. Which she did. GAH!
Seeing all this, my charming little BARELY 3 year old daughter comes over to me and says, "Mommy, don't cry! I know you will miss Moosie (what she calls my mother), but you always have ME!" Yep, if that ain't something to cheer up about, I don't know what is.