Thursday, June 7, 2012

Things I Know

After four and a half years of stay-at-home mommy-ness, I decided to go back to work. Part-time. VERY part-time. I found a job with a company that places caregivers in seniors' homes. I get to wear scrubs (which are basically grown-up Garanimals) and watch the game show network all day. It's pretty much the best job ever. Really, though, I do love it, because mostly what I'm visiting. I get to my lady's house, feed her cat, pick up the paper, then sit with her and chat while we drink coffee and I read the paper to her. She asks about my kids and my husband. She tells me about her children, and her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren. We discuss her blood sugar.
She tells me the same stories over and over, like she's reciting the rosary. Sometimes she can't remember a name or a word, and I want to give it to her, to help her out, but I don't, because I don't want her to know that she has told me this story before. After all, I am a guest in her home, in her life. I wonder what her great-grandchildren, who are my age, would think of me hearing their secrets, their stories, over and over until I could recite them verbatim.
I hope that that is what the future holds for me...that I live long enough to have that collection of stories, of highlights in my life that, when told to a stranger sixty years from now, will give her an idea of who I was, and of who I am. I found myself wondering today, during "The Young and the Restless", what those stories would be. I hope I remember the extremely good things. The birthday parties, the school dances, the trips to the beach with my family. Surely I will remember the births of my children, the first time my husband told me he loved me, the day I got my driver's license, the trip to Europe I took with my mother and brother.
Here is what I hope: I hope to do enough awesome things that when I tell these stories, the girl who takes care of me will go home and say, "This old lady I work for? Either she is a total badass or a really good liar."
I'm going to tell her that I married my best friend, and that on our first date, he took me out for pizza and we walked in the park and I told him that I was in love with him, and he said he was in love with me too.
I'm going to tell her about the time my father took five kids to Florida to see a shuttle launch and we accidentally drove into the middle of a drug a state the middle of the night.
Also, about the time when I was in seventh grade and my father and I drove a camper to Canada and were detained at the border because they thought he had kidnapped me.
I will tell her about going to Key West with my husband on our honeymoon, and how we took a romantic picnic to the beach at sunset, only to discover that we were sharing the beach with a bunch of roofers from Kentucky, with whom we then split a case of beer and a bottle of Jack Daniels while I gave one of them relationship advice.
I have long suspected that this is what it's all about: living a life so outstandingly fun that when you only remember bits and pieces of it, those bits and pieces are things that make you smile.
That, and guessing how much Rice-a-Roni costs. When you get old, you really like guessing how much Rice-a-Roni costs.