I’m not good at Mother’s Day shopping. How can a card sum up the gratitude I feel for a woman who raised two
troublesome awesome kids completely on her own? Where’s the card that says “Thanks for totally giving up your dreams so that your kids could have theirs?” And doesn’t require extra postage? C’mon.
So I bought a card, but Squish and I also spent a morning making her one, cutting and pasting flowers and hearts. The Princess of Darkness carefully transcribed text as dictated by Squish ( Mom, if you’re reading this, that’s why it says “BEDX Nonnie.” ). Sticking it in the mail seemed too impersonal. And too late. Lacking the ability to turn back time, I decided we were going to hand-deliver as a surprise. There was definitely a surprise involved.
I got to my mom’s house and was a just a tiny bit relieved to see her car in the driveway. Because she is retired and actually has a life, so my odds of surprising her at home are never better than 50-50. So far, so good.
Squish and I went in the gate. Squish wiggled through the tiny little maltese-size dog-door before I realized that the back door was actually locked, rendering me and my tiny tornado on opposite sides. And I didn’t have my key. Awesome. I mentally calculated how much damage he could do before his Nonnie realized he was there and intercepted. But amazingly, the kid opened the door for me.
And I heard the tell-tale beep-beep-beep of her house alarm. Did I mention that I don’t know the code? Yeah. If I left now before the operator called, the police would come. More awesome. If I stuck around, I’d be standing in the house as the alarm went off. Lose-lose. I waited. The alarm went off. After what seemed an eternity, the operator’s voice sounded through the tele-pad. I gave her the password, which I did know. And which was useless. Without the numeric code, there was no way to shut off the alarm, and it would simply sound again until the police arrived. Did I already say awesome? Fun dilemmas for the morning:
With no pass code, the alarm would summon the police. Dressed in cut-off sweatpants and 15 year old t-shirt, I definitely looked a little shady.
I couldn’t call my mom and get her pass code because the phone lines are totally tied up with the alarm. And I don’t own a cellphone.
If I got arrested for breaking and entering, I would totally blow my chances of being elected PTA president. Wait. Go ahead and book me.
The operator gave me 10 minutes to get in touch with my mom. As she was signing off, that’s when I noticed it. My mom’s key ring. And her purse. And her cellphone. Items she would have needed if she were to leave the house. Things, scary things, started clicking. I don’t freak out easily, but I was close. I begged the operator to stay on the line as I searched the house.
I wandered through the house calling for her, wondering if I was going to find her unconscious. Or worse. I wasn’t sure whether to be relieved or terrified that I couldn’t find her at all. I finally managed a phone call to my sister, who was just as clueless as I was as to our mother’s whereabouts. She gave me the numeric code, which at least took the police out of the picture.
Finally, after some frantic searching, I noticed some clues. A list of items to take to the hospital, and a page of dietary instructions. She was having a medical test and had left all of her things at home because someone else was taking her. My sister called a few minutes after the pieces clicked in my head and confirmed. My mom wasn’t dead after all. All’s well that ends well, right?
Lessons gleaned from this mess:
Surprise visits may end in surprises of the unpleasant sort.
If your mom tells you her pass code, pay attention. There may be a test later.
Always wear clean underwear in case you are in an accident. That has no direct application to the story other than it’s the kind of thing a mom would say, and it is a Mother’s Day post.
Oh, and Shop for Mother’s Day cards earlier and just stick them in the mail. You’re less likely to summon the police.