Average Jane

I Watched Her Sleep

It all happened so quickly considering I’ve been waiting over 2 years. Just last Monday I was told that I did need surgery on my foot — that it was my last resort. A week later, I was under the knife for what was supposed to be a simple surgery. This 20 minute procedure to remove a nerve from my foot is common and mostly successful and ridiculously painful.

I decided to do it now rather than wait for one reason: support. As everyone knows by now, or perhaps not, my parents live with me during the summer. It’s typically awful, but this year I couldn’t have been more grateful. I wanted to do it while they were here because I knew I needed them.

With jet lag from a cross-country flight the night before, Mom woke up with me around 5:30 to leave for Baltimore by 6. We arrived, parked, and made our journey once again to the surgical clinic. It was deja vu — hoping 4th time’s a charm. I knew the procedure. I was getting prepped for surgery by 7:30 and for all intents and purposes was done soon after. (The actual chain of events are best left for another post.)

When I arrived home, I was in the hands (at the mercy of) my parents. My mom. Everything I need, everything I do on my own every single day and have done every single day has been replaced by “Can you…?” “Will you…?” “I need….” Pretty quickly, I ran out of ways to say “Thank you” but there she is… breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, medicine, ice packs, errands, baths. And she keeps going.

I stop her and thank her and she says, “I’m the mama!” which is her way of saying she loves when she gets to mother me. I grew up fast and angry. She never got to do the fun mom/daughter stuff like talk about boys and go shopping. She got to watch me cry a lot. But now she gets to do all the mom stuff that she loves, that she’s good at. Sometimes it feels like she’s on a roll. Being useful is addictive, I guess. Yesterday, after putting away all the laundry and cleaning the entire apartment and making food for a small army, my mom grabbed a blanket and came into my room and slept. Right on the floor next to me. With my stuffed animals around her. She finally rested.

She’s good at being a mom. She’s great at being my mom. And all I could think as she laid on my floor was how peaceful she looked. Her hard work did not go unnoticed. I just know that the only way I can truly thank her is to be a good daughter and take care of her when she needs me which I have struggled to do. The role a daughter plays to her mother seems to be much more nuanced and difficult than the role of a mother to her daughter.

My mom knows I have a blog. She doesn’t know where it is or what I write there, but she knows it exists. Today she said to me, “When I do good things do you blog about those, too?” Of course I do, mom. I love you.

Note: This post is not as polished or poetic as it could be. Probably the pain pills. Anyway, the sentiment is still true.)


Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * Mr. Emily says:

    This is a really nice post. I [heart] Average Jane’s momma.

    Oh and I so prefer unpolished posts.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 10 months ago
  2. * kjohnsonesq says:

    It’s good that you are feeling better.

    And yeah for mom being there to help. There are so many ways of saying “I love you” and it sounds like you guys are finding your own way of doing that. I’m so glad for you!

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 10 months ago

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