a conversation with my mother

It had been a long, stressful, and emotionally draining day. The Highveld sun had made us hot and headachey on the long drives between any one place and any other in this triffid-like sprawl of a city. All I could think about as we got home was getting in the shower. My mother said she thought she’d have a lie-down for an hour.
me Good idea.
mom But maybe I’ll do the kitchen floor first.
me Okay.
mom Or is that weird? Should I have a rest first?
me I think you should do whatever you feel like. I’m sure the floor can wait.
mom I know but you know how I like to keep busy.
me Yes, I do know that. Clean the floor then.
mom But I really should have a lie down.
me Okay, do that then, and clean the floor later.
mom Your father used to say I was crazy the way I cleaned things all the time.
But I like cleaning, and I think it might even be therapeutic.

me After 78 years, you’re only realising that now?
mom Make fun if you like, I suppose you think you know everything about me.
me I’m not making fun, mom, but I am 53 so I think I do know quite a lot about you by now. I’ve seen you do a hell of a lot of cleaning over the years, and I know it’s your way of trying to
keep calm and work through your emotions and issues, and exert control over your environment
mom Great, now you’re a psychologist. Fine, I’m going to go and lie down then..
me Okay. But wait a minute…what’s that? In the corner by the fridge?
mom What? What?
me Oh jeez there’s a whole lot of crumbs on the floor.
mom Where’s my mop?
me I’d pull the fridge right out, if I were you, so you can clean behind it as well.
mom I will, I will. Where are you going?
me I’m going to have a lie down, and when I get up I’m going to come back to the kitchen to make coffee. Just make sure you’ve dried the floor properly before then..

8 thoughts on “a conversation with my mother

  1. Gail

    Love the conversation, thanks for sharing. You and your mother are so blessed to still have each other in this reality.

  2. katechiconi

    Oh, you’re bad! She sounds like mine used to – and if you wanted her to do something, you had to suggest the complete opposite. Gradually she’d come round to your opinion, and then of course it was all her own idea. I’m just surprised you didn’t put in an order for a cup of tea and a biscuit ‘while she was up’…


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