It finally happened. My mom and my sister came to visit, together, for a whole afternoon! It meant so much to me. Spending time with the two of them is like having my "whole" mother with me. It does my heart good. It's unnerving and thrilling all at once. Unnerving because I spend the whole day before cleaning like a crazy woman and trying to decide what I'm going to wear that won't make me look "fat" to my mother (her pet name for us, her beloved daughters, is "gordy." That's Spanish for chubby. Do we look chubby to you? Didn't think so). Thrilling, because they're coming here! To see me! Please note the a slight family resemblance. My whole life, I've had a pretty good idea of what I'll look like in 12 years, or in 36 years for that matter. Not too shabby.
They arrived on the noonish train loaded down with treats. A cheesecake flan (yes, it's true, cheesecake AND flan, together in one glorious dessert. Jealous?); tamales, fried hunks of pork, pound cake, plaintains and flowers (not carnations! YES!). My mother is incapable of coming here empty handed. She is under the impression that we need flan and poundcake, and I suppose on some level we do. I'm not going to argue. I'm going to chalk it up to "that's just what moms do."
We had lunch at a hibachi place in Hamden or, as my sister put it, "dinner and a show!" After lunch, we went for a walk around town. Ok, we went shopping. Well, Ann Taylor Loft was having a sale, and we were walking right by it...why wouldn't we go in and look? Turns out they had the jacket I had bought on sale in my sister's size! Yeah, she bought it. I told her to buy it. It was 15 bucks and it fit her perfectly, how could she not buy it? And really, what are the chances of us showing up at the same place at the same time, wearing the same jacket. She lives in New Jersey and I live here, so yeah, pretty likely that one of us will show up at the other's house wearing the jacket. My money's on Thanksgiving. But you know what? We'll both look supercute.
Every time my mom visits, I learn something new about her. Whether it's an old story about Cuba, or a new quirk that's been driving my siblings crazy, there's always something to be learned. This time, I learned that she is easily bored in stores (unless it's a dollar store) and will make her boredom known by wandering over to the entrance and looking like she is about to make a break for it. Apparently, this is not so new. "She does it all the time. It drives me nuts!" my sister said. I had no idea, probably because she usually comes by herself and I'm totally focused on keeping her engaged. With my sister here, really for the first time without being rushed, I had to divide my attentions. My sister and I would be talking about a set of earrings or looking for a particular size skirt ( you know, enjoying a leisurely shop), when we'd look up and there she'd be, at the door, her body language clearly saying "NEXT!" My sister told me she had decided to wear sneakers instead of sandals because she planned on running after my mother half the time. Smart move.
We had some time before their train, and I thought a bit of a rest would be good before the train ride back, so we came back to the apartment...and watched the end of the Yankees game. Not so much restful as shout-y. Poor Mike. Three Cuban women sitting in his living room screaming at the television is not his idea of a lazy Sunday. Our team won, though, so it's all good.
Does my mother make me crazy? Sometimes, yes. Does she make my sister crazier? Of course. Does my sister balance that craziness by knowing what I'm thinking and communicating with a single look a reassuring "I know. But she's ours." Absolutely. Am I already planning their next visit? You know it.