The “good” child

I think one of my favorite things about being an adult child is getting to bail out my parents when their in over their heads. I say this with all love and honesty, but my mom is frequently the beneficiary of my talents. She’s a perfectionist and a control freak and I’m just like her. Which is why I decided I should give her a call this morning: the day of her husband’s surprise 50th birthday party. When she first picked up the phone, I’m pretty sure she wasn’t actually breathing. It was 10am, people were coming at 3 and Steve had just walked out the door. Judging by her to-do list, I realized that sitting on my couch watching cooking shows wasn’t the best use of my time today. So I re-arranged my schedule a bit, jumped in the shower and then took off to Meijer with Mom’s “I forgot” lists in hand. Even as I walked in the door around one, she seemed a little frantic, but also relieved that help was finally here. I chopped up a veggie tray, helped her direct her other help so they weren’t just standing their gawking while she talked to herself about what still needed done, and just before Steve walked in the door, I put the finishing touches on his present. At 2:45 I took over buffet organization so she could finally get her party clothes on and breathe for a moment before guests started flooding in.
It was awesome.
Our patch-work family showed up in full force and friends of his I’ve known for years and minutes gave the most unified rendition of “Happy Birthday” I’ve heard, possibly ever. Well, except the muddling of “Steve/Dad” in the middle, of course.
I know that things would have turned out just fine if I had shown up at 3 with all the other party goers, but I still like to think that a little effort on my part brought about a wave of serenity that radiated from my mom out to all the other guests, and Steve. Maybe this doesn’t make me the good child, but I did pretty good I think.


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