in recent phone conversations with my mom, i've noticed a big difference in the way she says 'i love you' and the way my father did when he was alive.
when my parents would call me, ever, just to ask how i was doing, and if i was speaking with my dad, he would always end our conversations with, 'i love you,' or 'i love you son.' and then i'd say the same and we'd say goodbye and hang up. lots of times the 'i love you's' would come way earlier in the talk, like as soon as we said 'hello'. but mostly just 'i love you' and then 'goodbye'. i could almost guarentee it was on its way. i just new he'd say it. i didn't not like it, and it didn't make me uncomfortable. i just... kind of expected it. i probably took it more for granted than i appreciated it, but you get the picture.
now, my mom, on the other hand, is a bit different.
our conversations, although fruitful, meaningful and sometimes joking, usually end with me saying 'bye momma,' or 'alright, momma.' and the same from her... but then a little pause. and a fast 'love you' from my mom. and i say calmly, 'i love you too.' and then the hang up. it sort of sneaks out at the last moment from her.
and since july, all i can remember is her saying 'goodbye' in that manner. and it makes me laugh a little. my mom has always been that sort of "speakeasy" parent. short-and-sweet. punch-line-first. you-want-fries-with that?-you-go-first-kind-of-parent. and she's beautiful.
last night was a cool "step" in our relationship b/c she came to charleston to see me play in this musical called "beehive: a 60s musical". its been one of her first outings (including my younger brother's football games) without my father around. but she came out to hear/see me and loved it. i think a lot of it had to do with her finding a new friend in my good friend erin norton's mom. i got them both tickets and they met and sat together. they talked, laughed and so on. erin's mom is also now a single-mother of three.
and afterwards, my mother and erin's mother both beamed from being able to relate to so much of the show and thanked me for being so kind and talented and handsome and charming and thin. i hugged them both and thanked them for being themselves.
my mom called me when she got back home to tell me she was ok and safe. i told her i was glad she came and she agreed. as we prepared to hang up, we said goodbye and then a pause, and then a quick 'love you' from her and a calm 'i love you, too' from me. and then the hang up. and that's how it is.
i am glad that i got to meet both of my parents when i did. i'm glad they are so different. i'm glad that my mom is shy and mostly reserved...
because i am in love with her.