Today was Mother's Day. It's a day I don't think about much in the commercial-sort of way. I don't do baskets or extravagant dinners or go to a spa. What I do is say a little prayer of thanks for my mother, without whom I wouldn't be the person, or the mother, that I am. Since I think I turned out pretty well, I'd say she did a good job.
She also took my son to spend the night with her on Saturday night, leaving Darling Man and me to be people other than parents for a night. We are always so enmeshed with parenthood - after 8 years, sometimes I wonder if we have anything to talk about when there is no child involved. We do. As it turns out, we revert to pre-baby people. We called out for Italian food and watched World Combat League Playoffs on DirecTV (I actually picked this package specifically for that channel!). It was a quiet night alone at home, celebrating us.
Darling Man had to go to work Sunday morning, so I had the whole morning to myself. I drank my cup of coffee, read the paper, watched some bad movies on tv... then got up and tidied up the downstairs because my in-laws were coming for Sunday dinner. It was FIL's birthday this week (he turned 80) and of course it was Mother's Day for MIL, so we invited them over for fried chicken, real mashed potatoes, steamed zuchinni and had angelfood cake with strawberries, guava jelly and whipped cream for dessert.
My brother Matt delivered Z-boy back to the house after having lunch with the parents and Z, then went on to whatever he had going on today. Brothers John and James both called to wish me a happy Mother's Day. They're so sweet.
Since our diningroom table hasn't made it over from the old house yet, we ate out on the back porch and the smoke from the forest fires was incredibly dense. It wasn't so bad when we started out, but as dinner went on, it got thicker and thicker. We adjourned to the house soon after eating, but for me, the smoke had done its damage - I felt quite nauseous. Finally, hours later, I'm starting to feel normal again. I do wonder though... if I were still smoking, would it have bothered me as much? Probably.
Z-boy was ready to go do something, which we normally encourage, but with all the smoke outside, we were pretty much confined to the house. We watched some tv, Z and Darling Man played video games, and I came upstairs to get on the computer. We have another TV up here and I was flipping through the guide when I came across "Saturday Night Fever."
I have never seen this movie. About all I've ever seen of it was the bridge scene where the guys were faking out Annette by "jumping off" the bridge. Not much to go by. When I was in high school, I dated a guy who absolutely adored this movie. He had the soundtrack and it was always played in the background when we were on the phone or in the car. Perhaps this made me a bit rebellious (one can only take so much of the Bee Gees in one sitting) and I never actually saw the movie. Until today.
I won't bore you with a rehash. It's quite dated, but when I was in high school, all the girls had hair like that, all the boys wore pants like that and they taught "The Hustle" in gym class. Wide lapels and polyester print shirts were all the rage. Fun to watch.
It was interesting seeing John Travolta young again. And it made me think of another mother. One who isn't here anymore, but is still missed. My grandmother was a HUGE John Travolta fan.
Huh? I looked around but didn't see any men... well, none that were moving.
"What was that, Grandma? What man?"
"John Travolta. He's so beautiful, but I just love when he dances!"
So what was Grandma's first JT experience?
Was it Saturday Night Fever? Grease? Look Who's Talking?
He dances in all of those.
Was it the dance with Diana that captured her imagination?
I already knew she loved Michael - but I didn't know why. Was it her hope that an angel would come when it was time to take her to the next place? Or was it merely that this good-looking guy who could dance was hanging out with Jean Stapleton and danced with her at the end of the movie?
Or was it, as I have come to believe, that John Travolta had beautiful blue eyes and a dimple in his chin like this man?
This is my grandfather. He was a musician and a sail-maker and swept my grandmother off her feet when she was a young lady. It didn't work out and they divorced when my mother was an early teen. But Grandma never remarried. I don't know if she ever even went out again. Not that there weren't offers. But she didn't accept them. See, I think that in spite of all that happened, she still loved my Grandfather, and her heart wouldn't let someone else in.
Not long before my grandfather died, he and his current wife came to visit. Grandpa had had a series of strokes by then and didn't know exactly who my grandmother was. He did know that she was a nice lady though, and turned to his wife and said he thought they should go live with her. Grandma remained remarkably composed, while Grandpa's wife gently explained that it wasn't possible.
After that dinner, I think Grandma felt a little more at ease with herself. More sure that she'd made the right decision after all. But it's hard to let go of a love you've held on to for so long. And this was when she confessed her enjoyment of John Travolta.
In a way, I'm glad she didn't have to see this.
I miss you, Grandma. Happy Mother's Day!