Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sitting still

My dear mother has a problem with sitting still. Picture this classic scene in my parents’ household: a delicious five-course homemade Vietnamese meal on the table. Everyone gathered around, chopsticks in hand, ready to eat.  Then my mother invariably pops up, and says, “oh please go ahead and start, I just forgot one thing….” And she bops back into the kitchen to chop something, mix something, do something. No one starts--everyone puts their chopsticks down. We patiently wait for her return.  My father sighs and grumbles, “dear, we are waiting for you…!” And so my mother pitter-patters, getting this and that ready.  Five minutes pass. She finally sits down.  We all start eating, but midway through the meal, she pops up again for something else. 

We wonder when she will retire, if ever.  I’ll never work 60 hours a week, but my mother relishes it.  This is a woman who needs to keep herself busy.  Who proudly does all the gardening and yard work year round. 

And you know what is the craziest? I think I am becoming her in some ways.  Recently this week I was eating breakfast, and found myself before, midway, and after running around getting this and that ready, between mouthfuls of cereal.  My husband just laughed at me.  And I laughed too, at the ridiculousness of it.  Could I not sit down for 10 minutes and finish a bowl of corn flakes?  Did I really need to run upstairs and fetch something right now?

So I sit here, on a quiet sunny Sunday morning, son and husband at the playground (thank goodness for this early spring thaw!), and daughter taking a morning nap. I had the luxury to put my feet up and read a fashion magazine.  Feel the sunlight warm our living room.  Listen to the rare sound of quiet in our house.  My husband would be proud.  I am sitting still.


  1. Good for you! You paint such a vivid picture of your mother...I can totally see it. My father is the same way, but not so much at meal time, as the rest of the day. There always has to be a project or something to clean, or some errand to run, whereas I could sit down outside with a book for 4 hours straight. Makes it difficult to plan family vacations as we will always need to go somewhere he can golf or boat or do something active!

    1. Yes, there is always one busybody in the family, no? I was happy this weekend all isn't lost...I could sit still for a while at least to put my feet up and read...and then of course, blog :)