Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I Will Let Them (34/90)

My Dad brought me home a Snuggie last night.

He knocked twice on the door to my room, the way he does before entering, and plopped it on my bed.

"What's that," I asked.

He didn't answer. He was fishing through the white shopping bag he held in his hands.

"Is that a Snuggie," I asked.

"Yeah," he said looking up.

"Thanks," I said giggling.

He pulled a box of Mike and Ikes from the bottom of the bag and tossed them to me.

"You got me my own," I said jokingly.

"Yeah," he said." I didn't even open them.

"Thanks Dad," I said smiling.

Just yesterday he brought me home a bag of Skittles. Two weeks ago he brought me a pair of blue house slippers.

"Try these on," he said. Just as I walked into the house.

I looked at the box, and read that they fit up to a size 8. A size too small.

"These will be too small," I said.

"Are you sure," he asked.

"Yeah," I said. "They fit up to a size 8, I need a 9." I told him.

"Ok," he said quietly.

"Thank you though," I said as I walked toward my room.

The next night when I got home there was another box in the same spot in living room. They were the right size this time.

"Here you go Bigfoot," he said jokingly.

"That stuff is hereditary, you know," I said grinning. "I can't really help it," I continued, as I took the slippers to my room.

None of these are things that I've asked for. Nor are they things that I need, or that I  can't buy for myself when I do. He knows all of this.

***

"I'm just calling because I want to see if you wanted something special from the store," my Mom said from the other end of the phone.

She was driving through sunny Tampa on Saturday on her way to meet friends when she called me. I was sitting in my room doing homework, with my space heater buzzing, snow just outside my window.

"No, nothing special," I said. "You know what I like to eat."

"Ok, she said," sounding disappointed.

"I have this new recipe I want you to try," she said, her voice perking up again.

"It's pasta with alfredo sauce and chicken or shrimp. You know I'll probably do both," she said laughing.

"Mmm, that sounds good," I told her. "I'm excited."

Just last week she was sending me pictures of the clothes and shoes she'd picked out for me at the new shopping center. I got a voicemail after I received a few of the pictures.

"Tiff, It's Mom. I sent you pictures of some tops and the Coach shoes I got you. You need to call me back and tell me if you like them, because I know you're picky," she said.

I'm not big on shopping, especially not clothes shopping. When I must, I go straight to the item I want, eye it for size and take it to the cash register. I've got to be in some special mood to peruse clothing stores for any length of time.  I prefer buying jewelry and electronics, music and books. But my mom, she loves shopping. She loves taking me shopping. Clothes shopping.

I will take my favorite pair of jeans to her when I fly to see her Friday and ask her to patch the denim that is worn and starting to rip. She'll beg me to throw them away and let her buy me a new pair of jeans, or three. I'll just want her to patch the old pair. They're my favorites. And they're still wearable. But I'll have to convince her of this, and convince her that I don't need a new pair of jeans, or three.

***
But this is their way. This has always been their way. I just haven't always realized it.

I stood talking to my mentor, Brad, at Starbucks while waiting for my latte. We were chatting about my  upcoming trip to Tampa.

When they try to do something nice for you, whether it's giving you money or something small, just let them, he told me. Realize it's the one of the last things they feel like they can do for you. It's them saying "I love you," he said.

"It's weird," I said inarticulately.

And it's not weird what they're doing, because this is what they've always done. It's weird that they are doing it with such intensity and urgency. And because I am just now able to see it for what it is: My parents pouring their love on me, every way they know how.

It breaks my heart to imagine what I know they are both feeling now.

They're losing their baby. A little more every day.

 When I talk of moving far from them, chasing my dreams all over the country and overseas they don't express excitement. They are quiet, solemn.

They're trying to hold on. They're trying to let go.

But in the meantime, they're just loving me. And I will let them.

4 comments:

Kyle James said...

Awesome. The way this read was fantastic and the conclusion was great. Makes me think twice about how I interact with my own parents now!

Tiffany Holbert said...

Hey Kyle!

Yeah, I think this growing up has really made me reevaluate my relationship with my parents. I'm so grateful for them and for their love.

Thanks for reading and I'm glad you liked it.

Brad King said...

I love seeing my writers write and talk! Soon, Obi-won will pass to the other side :)

Tiffany Holbert said...

@Brad :) Not soon, though.

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