Musings of a Neurotic Mother

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Tonight will find me waiting – not for the sound of the key in the door like when he was a teenager – but for the sound of my son’s voice on the phone saying, “I’m home.” He’ll be humouring me, I know, but I don’t care. I just want to know that he’s back, safe and sound. He’s a grown man, but so what? He’s a smart, responsible person, but so what? Tell that to a mother’s heart that is hardwired to worry about her kids no matter what.

My worries began when he said he was going to the US on business. It’s not his destination that worried me; it’s the fact that he was travelling at all. I wouldn’t roll the COVID dice and travel anywhere right now. But I no longer make those decisions for my kids. There’s a French proverb that says:  Petits enfants, petits soucis; enfants grandis, grands soucis. Loosely translated it means: small children, small worries; big children, big worries. It’s true. I miss the days when I knew that my kids were safely sleeping under my roof every night.

But my son works for a company that organizes sports tournaments in cities across the US and Canada. Pre-COVID, he travelled a lot during the high season. But from March 2020 until recently, like most of us, he worked from his home. Now he was excited to pack his bags and hit the road again earlier this week.

I see professional sporting events from all over the world on television with packed stadiums and almost no one wearing masks. Part of me thinks, “Maybe they have it right. Maybe we should just go on living.”  Here in Quebec, restaurants, schools, movie theatres, sporting events, concerts and even family gatherings have been shut down. Omicron is everywhere and we all know someone who has had it in the last few weeks or months. But it’s one thing to get sick at home where family and friends can check in with you. It’s another altogether to be sick and stranded alone in a hotel room in another country.  

But, as I said, my son is a smart, responsible person. He hedged his bets by buying a supply of N95 masks. And, since the tournament was a five-hour drive from home, he chose to drive instead of fly. But I am nothing if not neurotic. My first thoughts were: What if a winter storm hits on his drive home? What if he has an accident alone on the highway?

Now the storm is a real threat. He is driving back today and everyone – bloggers, news networks, social media, friends and family – is talking about hunkering down for a major storm. It will bring high winds, extreme cold and anywhere from 12-16 inches of snow. It’s not due to start until later tonight in Quebec, but I’m not sure about the areas my son will be driving through.

I couldn’t help myself and yesterday I texted him, “Everything going well down there?” 

I could tell by his answer that I wasn’t fooling him. “Have my PCR test result to come back to Canada and it’s negative. Heading back tomorrow afternoon.”

“Great! Do you think you’ll beat the storm that’s being predicted?”

His answer was short and sweet: “I should.”  Now there’s nothing I can do but wait for that call. So if anyone is looking for me tonight, I’ll be by the phone.

FACT OR FICTION? I’LL NEVER TELL! (BLOGANUARY DAY 9)

This post is written for the Day 9 prompt of the Bloganuary challenge:
What do people incorrectly assume about you?

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I have a confession to make. Most people think I’m smarter than I actually am. That’s because I cultivate an “air” of intelligence.  It’s not that hard, really.  I’m tall and practice good posture so that I can look dignified.  I don’t know why but that makes people think you’re smart. Go figure! But the real key to looking very smart is not talking too much.

People who want to show they’re intelligent are too insistent about it.  They talk too much because they’re eager to let people see how much they know. They also cut people off in conversations, which just make them look rude. In short they may be very smart, but their bad manners are what people notice, not their superior intellect.

Others who sell themselves short are those who let their emotions run away with them.  When they talk about a subject they’re passionate about, they get loud and maybe a tad hysterical.  And they go on and on without letting anyone else get a word in. Watch them at a party. The more they  talk, the more the people around them give each other not-so-discreet signals to move on. It’s time to talk to someone else who might be a little less, well, fanatical.

So, yeah, the key to looking smart is staying on the quiet side. You also have to be careful to keep your head in a neutral position. Nod and people think you’re agreeing with them. Shake your head, even ever so slightly, and they think you are disagreeing. This could lead them to ask you what you think and you don’t want that.  But if they do, just keep your answer vague and throw in some big words. (Everyone knows a few). What you want is to look aloof and let people believe that you are intellectually a cut above them. And if you succeed, well then, maybe you are.

What makes me laugh? This man! (Bloganuary challenge – Day 7)

Today’s prompt for the Bloganuary Challenge is:  What makes you laugh?  The answer is:  the late, great Tim Conway. His work speaks for itself, and I couldn’t do him justice if I tried to describe his impeccable timing and comedic talent. Anyone old enough to remember the Carole Burnett Show will certainly identify. And for those who have never seen any of his classic skits, it’s well worth watching the two below, even if the video and/or sound isn’t the best.  Enjoy!

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Written for Day 7 prompt of the Bloganuary challenge: What makes you laugh?