Mothers Have Great Big Ears
My friend, Pia, wrote on Facebook yesterday, “Last night: a lovely, long chat on the phone with my fashion designer daughter, Ms. Rachel, all the way from Manhattan. Her voice was gleaming with happiness. Mine was the hungry ear.”
Mine too, Pia. My two Manhattanites left the building last Monday – leaving a decided hole in my Michigan week. Back to their Brooklyn coops. Their Manhattan projects. For me, back to the hungry ear.
Mary, wife, mother to two cats, UX researcher who travels a lot makes my ear hungry lately. Her new busy schedule means fewer texts or email responses. Everyone knows Mary doesn’t talk on phones. Her husband, Steve, confirms that. My ear would starve if I waited for phone calls from Mary. I am, however, getting better at gleaning details from two to five word texts.
Mary: “Austin tomorrow.”
Me: “Take care.”
Me: “How is Steve? Cats? You?”
Mary: “OK. Hotter than hell here.”
Jenny, the health care system planner, does talk on the phone. She and I can cover 90 minutes talking New York real estate and her plan to retire at 40. (Two years to go.) Then there’s my plan: for she and Mary to purchase a condo in the tropics which I promise to caretake for the family. The most heated discussion, though, surrounds her financial advice for my slim retirement pickings.
Jenny: “Invest, Mom. It’s the only way. You have to take a little risk.”
Me: “I’m past investing, dear. I’m spending it to live. Where's my condo at the beach?”
As wonderful as these communications are, although some too short, they are not enough for me. I want to see their faces every day. Feel their bones. Look into their eyes to see what urban trauma I can pray away. Move in with them.
Can an ear be that hungry? You betcha.