Today my mom drove over an hour to have lunch with me and my husband. No reason. Just because. Which is the best reason of all.
Mom and I don’t seem to be much alike. She is all girly. She wears makeup and perfume every day. Even fixes her hair every day. And she’ll wear a dress or skirt without anyone making her! I’ll fix my hair on days I have to work. Never on vacation. And only some of the days I have off. I will never wear a dress on purpose. Ever. I have perfume. Unopened. And only because I bought it in Ireland. Makeup? I scoff.
I have spent my life identifying more with my dad. I just seemed more like him. Physically I think I am most like him. I look like him. My sister says I have his hands. As I get older I have started loving horseradish and hating the telephone, both very trademark dad traits. Mom used to say if dad found a shirt he liked he bought four of them just alike, maybe different colors. In my closet now are maybe fifty shirts. But only four or five different ‘kind’ of shirt. I have five, six, even seven of the same shirt-just different colors.
My dad would sit in a chair, lean back and cross his hands behind his head. His right foot resting on his left thigh. I find this seating position to be extremely comfortable. And familiar.
Mom likes a party. Dad did not. I do not.
Mom likes a bourbon. Dad did not. I do not. (In fairness here, dad liked beer, and I do not.)
Mom likes liver. I don’t ever remember seeing dad eat liver. I may have been too busy trying not to gag at the liver on my plate. For real, literally gagging, at the dinner table.
So that’s a general picture of the way things are/were.
For weeks I’ve been trying to get home and get my after work stuff done so I can go outside and sit on the porch when it’s raining. More than a few times I’ve had the chance. More than once I’ve been disappointed because by the time I got out there the rain had stopped and the sun was out. I like the sun. But there’s something about sitting on the porch in my rocking chair when it’s raining that I find extremely appealing.
At lunch today mom was talking about a new place to live. And someone had asked her what she would like in a new home. She said the one thing she wants more than anything is a porch. A covered porch. So she can sit on it when it’s raining outside.
We may not share makeup tips and trade dresses (shudder).
But I find a lot of comfort in knowing we share the value of sitting on a porch in the rain. And loving it.