Most (99 %) of the time when I say Work In Progress - you know I'm talking about the book, my book, that I've written, rewritten and am now revising. Again.
Today I will try to address my other Work In Progress. Oh, 'And which one would that be,' you ask? Another novel? No. I'm referring to the WIP that is my life. I admit it is much harder to quantify my progress at anything (especially since I'm really not sure I'm making any). Whereas I can tally the number of pages written or words revised in a manuscript, I don't have a way to measure if I'm smarter, more loving or more patient in my day to day life. Then there is the matter of growing up, the concept of not simply gaining years but maturity, not only getting older but getting wiser. And does getting wiser have to be the goal? Of course not, but I ask, does old and foolish sound like a winning combination?
Which brings me to where I am today. Looking after my mom.
Stay with me here and lets see if I can say this...
I've reached that certain age where I feel like I know some things. Not a lot, but some. I've been married long enough to be able to measure in double digits, not the years but the decades. I've been a practicing mother for almost as long. I lived in a few different places and had my share of tests and challenges. And I've paid attention.
It was in that seductively secure place I found myself at the hospital accompanying my cute 80 year-old mom for (minor) surgery. I've been around a few hospitals. Even delivered my daughters in the very one where I was taking her. I was not intimidated, just anxious for it to all go well for her.
I didn't see it coming. The moment I held her hand in recovery, looked at her peaceful face and curled white hair and felt the freight train of mystery and wonder hit me full force. I could have been 10 years old sitting there for all the understanding I didn't have. How did we get here? She used to hold my hand as we crossed the street. She was the one to brush my hair and curl it for picture day. When did she get old and when did I grow up? And I thought I was paying attention. What did I know?
I knew by the time I left my mom resting comfortably in her room and drove home, I wanted to hug every person in my house a lot tighter, which is saying something since I'm already the resident hugger. And l knew I wanted to follow my mom's example, at least in one way, and stay focused on being there for the people I love.