Saturday, March 13, 2010

Do You Mind? Does It Matter?

My mother, yesterday's birthday girl, believes quite strongly in mind over matter. If, for instance, you're afraid you might get laid off she'll quickly jump in, "Oh, that's not going to happen." Now, I haven't even gathered anecdotal evidence about her success rate but I've certainly inherited the impulse.

It's an especially useful sort of thing when you're babysitting. Some regular kid calamity will happen and faces will crumple and by my mother's law you say, kindly, "Oh, you're OK. You're fine!" while surreptitiously checking for any bones pointing in the wrong direction. Conservatively I'd say 99 kids out of 100 fail to work up a good cry. Even if you discover an errant bone in your search.

She's most likely to use it, though, on illness. "I think I'm coming down with _______." "Oh no, you're not going to get that!" Worked like a charm for me and H1N1 this year. Well, really it was the corollary that worked, "You know, I think you had a mild case of it before so you're immune now." (My mother is convinced that some rash I had on my hand when I was 10 was chicken pox and that's why I've never had a full blown case.)

As you know, I was planning a quick trip up to New England for a 70th birthday dinner with mom and Aunt Rena (who, not for nothing, turned 95 last Sunday). The plan was to drive up Friday. On Thursday afternoon mom called me at work to tell me there'd been an outbreak of stomach flu at her workplace. Did I still want to come? She didn't want to infect me. I assumed mom had already decided she wasn't getting it. Did she still want to have dinner? She did. So I'd stick to the plan.

While I was in the shower Friday morning she left a voice mail. Luckily I noticed it before I walked out the door. She'd gotten stomach flu and battled it all night. She didn't really feel like having dinner any more. So we rescheduled.

Rena, however, has declared she's not getting it. Considering how well she's doing with her vow not to die I'm inclined to believe her.

1 comment:

  1. I who teach wish that your mom's trick worked in my world as well as it does in yours!