Monday, April 16, 2012

The Stakeout or...

Two Old Bags Waiting in the Parking Lot

Before I begin my story, please let me explain something.
I have been divorced for 14 years.  In that time, I have had
been without children for less than 12 nights.  I have had a
babysitter approximately 8 times for an evening out.
I have, unintentionally, become a homebody.
Now that my mask is off,
here's the rest of the Prom Story...

I do not consider myself a 'helicopter parent.'
However, due a falling out several months ago,
I was pulled Becky out of Special Olympics and
have since been shunned but the other parents.
I'm OK with it.  Really.  Just giving you the back story.
I know the 'players' that would be attending Prom.
I know their strengths and weaknesses.
Therefore, I planned to have a quite
night in my car, reading, just in case there
was a meltdown or more and I was needed.

Lucky for me, I had more than one friend
offer to go with me so I wouldn't have to sit out in the parking lot alone.
I didn't want anyone to sacrifice a Saturday night
being bored out in my car with me.
However, Becky's Godmother and my friend of 35 years, insisted.

Becky traveled from the high school to the Prom
location with her 'date' and his Mom.
My friend, Terri and I went to a nearby local establishment
for a quick (albeit very loud) bite to eat.
Food was OK.  Company good.

Thankfully, there was dollar store in the area so we
headed over there. Two of Terri's cousins work there 
so the three of them had a good time catching up. Two the them hadn't see each other for 
8 years!
We had playing cards in the car thinking we'd play some Hand and Foot.
But while shopping, we couldn't resist a coloring book
and some markers.  You see, Terri's favorite pastime these days is coloring,
with or without her 6 year old granddaughter.  I've always loved to color
so I was right on board.
Before we left, I was going to show the gals my pictures of Prom on my camera
only to realize I did not have my camera!
After 30 minutes of panic, I remembered another Mom had borrowed it.
I was sad I didn't have it but so relieved I hadn't lost it!

So, after all of the excitement,
we went to a nearby parking lot to wait.
For the end of the dance.
For 10:30.

We eagerly got out the coloring book and markers
and with the windows rolled down, began to chat
and color, giggling a bit wondering what people would think 
if they spotted a 50 something and 60 something year old
sitting and coloring in their car!
We laughed as I told Terri how one blogger friend
said we should have doughnuts and coffee on our stakeout.
Terri wished for coffee but settled for a Root Beer.
We both longed for doughnut
but split a Baby Ruth instead.

And then...
something happened.
Some young men came whizzing down a hill,
at great speed, on skateboards.
Keep in mind, this was a VERY busy parking lot.
Terri immediately muttered loud enough for just me to hear
"Those idiot's!  They're going to get killed racing around like that!"

By now, it was getting too dark to color so we put everything away
and began watching people coming and going from the bowling alley
and theater.
This is when I glanced at the clock and said
"I just can't imagine going someplace at 8:20 at night."
Soon thereafter, Terri grabbed a sweater(that was her Mom's)
to put on and she was chilly.  Then she proceeded to tell me
how "rough" she was on her Mom because she was always cold.
This is something Terri and I shared...our aging and ailing Mom's always so cold.
I remember a June when I had the heat on in the house while my Mom lived here. 
It was 80 degrees outside and I had the heat on!
I did my best to grin and bear it but I wasn't always happy and that makes me sad now.
Anyway, fast forward a few years and there is Terri,
cold and wrapped up in her mother's sweater.
It was at that time we looked at each other and started laughing.

And then it hit us!
"When did we get so old????"  "We sound like a couple
of old bags sitting here talking like this.
We have become our Mother's...
worrying about those young whipper snappers,
not going out after dark
and talking about 'remember when...'

Before we knew it, it was 10:25 and time
to head over to pick up my lovely daughter.
3.5 hours seemed like a long time to sit and wait in a car
but when you are with a good friend, time flies.
I have to thank my other friends for sending me texts...
checking on Becky, checking on me
and for loving and supporting us.


Ronda said...

Loved your story. I know that realization! We do that. We become our mothers!

Anonymous said...

This is a great story...a real blessing to have such a friend. My childhood friend and I got stuck in traffic last summer for 3 hours but the time just flew by!!!

Julie Marie said...

Oh dear Jill... please never say you are old!!! Old is a state of mind as I always say... and there is nothing wrong with putting on a sweater in the chilly night air... being protective of your daughter is no crime... it is a blessing to her...who cares if someone sees you in the parking lot coloring... if they don't think that is sweet, then they have a poor outlook on life... why is it that only in America is sooo much emphasis put on "being young"... in most other countries, and also our own Native Americans have such a high respect and regard for their elders and look to them for guidance and knowledge... now, get out that coloring book and crayons today and color up a storm!... love you!... xoxo Julie Marie

Julie Marie said...

PS I also love "being my mother"... even tho' she has passed away, she still influences every thing I do in my life... I am proud to be like her!

Lisa said...

I love this story - and coloring in the car with a good friend sounds like fun! I'm glad there wasn't any extra drama to the evening!

Susan said...

Bless your heart, you are working so hard to be a good Mom and have a life at the same time. I'm so glad you had your friend with you! Loved your story, and don't tell anyone, but I love to color too!

Donna said...

I think even my Mother did more than I do...sigh!
I'm with you and I ALSO love to color!Hahaaa

TexWisGirl said...

your girlfriend is an absolute treasure.

Lynne said...

I thought the coloring book idea was delightful . . . Two gals, wrapped up in sweaters, sitting in a parked car, coloring . . . good thing the cops didn't stop by! Might have wondered???

Paula said...

A real true friend you have there to not let you sit there alone. I'm sure she enjoyed your company too.

Scrappy Pink Corner said...

Oh jIll. I did the same thing for about 6months with my youngest sitting in the car while she went to church except I went and sat alone.
It is great to have good friends and be able to hang out with them no matter what the circumstances.
Great story.

Ellie said...

What a wonderful mum you are sitting in the car waiting for Becky, and what a wonderful friend you have to do it with you.
Sometimes a friend's company is all that is needed to make time go by quickly.
You are not old - it is just a number - cause if you are getting old so am I.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I have stacks of coloring books in my house, I could've sent you some for your stakeout, ha ha. Glad you had some company :-)

Rohrerbot said...

Glad you had someone to hang out with....being a parent of a special needs child has its own issues. It's a small community that involves many different things....including other parents. All the events are the same, etc. You are not old. Everyday I work with teenagers I laugh. They haven't changed much over the years, but we do. Our tolerance becomes less for stupidity and their immortal attitudes:) And then I realize...they lack knowledge and experience and I can accept them for short periods of time:) Loved your story:)

Gloria Hood said...

Great story Jill! So glad you had company too!

Dawn's Craft Place said...

Isn't this what friendship is all about? You are very blessed to have good friends and it says a lot about the type person you are.
I am so glad you were there just in case and Becky got to enjoy her night.
Totally understand the beginning of the story,and sadly have dealt with the same with my brother many moons ago...yes i am my mother also!50 next year!

Chatty Crone said...

I have enjoyed the story here - and I can so relate. So much fun to be with a friend and to color! My mom was always gold too when she was older. She would be anything around her to keep warm.

Yes when our parents die we lose the insulation from being old. You wake up one day and you realize your old - that you have fewer years to go then where you've come.

But it is okay. Growing old is not for sissies. And we are strong women - judging from our pasts.

Love, sandie

Buttons said...

Oh this made me laugh as I sit here wrapped in a blanket OH no I am am old bag too.
Great story I am happy Becky and Mom had a good time in very different ways. B

Dar said...

Had you thought to scan the other vehicles, you probably were not the only parents on 'stake-out'. I think it's the most loving thing in the world. I loved the coloring book thing and the conversation was as if I were there with one of my sisters/friends, having the same ' becoming our mothers ' conversation.
Loved this endearing entry. You are a super Mom with an awesome friend.

momto8 said...

what a fun story. friends like that a rare gift. good for you!

Bonnie said...

It sounds like you had as much fun as your daughter. Bonnie

Debbie said...

lol, what a great story jill!! as i read i was thinking the same thing, we use to be fun!! i always told my kids how fun i used to be!

what a great opportunity to shut off the world and share time with a special friend!

you are a wonderful, caring mom jill, always remember how much becky is learning just my watching the way you live your life!!

Nancy Claeys said...

Sounds like about as much excitement as I would be able to handle -- I think it's awesome that you waited for your daughter and had some good friends along for the journey. xoxo

Rebecca said...

On my recent trip to Cali my older sister and I stayed with my younger brother. Linda and I shared their guestroom bed and we chatted deep into the night.

How many years has it been since we did that? Too many to count...I've been married almost 34 years so it's been at least that long since we snuggled side by side and shared hopes. Shared dreams.

This was a wonderful post. Beautifully written.


At Home in English Valley said...

Hi Jill, Becky looked so pretty and so happy. I think we were all waiting to hear bout her nite and your nite. I'm so glad that your dear friend was there for you, and we are all here for you too. Love, Penny

Donna said...

Oh Jill,

Please let Becky know she looked absolutely beautiful! Just like a Princess! Her hair, makeup and her dress looked stunning on her! So Beautiful!

Jill, I cannot imagine shunning anyone, yet I understand how you feel. I've had it done to me before and it is a very sad thing to go through. I can't imagine it because you are such a blessing to know!

I love your writing, your photos, and this was a lovely write up of her night, your night with a good friend, and finely home.

I "remember when", too! My Sweetie and I do that all the time! You're making me think twice about it now!

Blessings, dear Jill!

Jenny Woolf said...

It sounds like a fun evening, and why shouldn't you remember!!!! Glad Becky enjoyed her prom.

EG CameraGirl said...

This was fun to read, Jill. I felt like I was almost there with you. I'm so glad everything went well!

nanny said...

What a wonderful story!!! I loved reading it!

I got so tickled about the coloring. My daughter and I spent HOURS on the floor when she was small coloring. We had to search the stores for just the right books. We like people....loved to color their hair, eyes, lips and fingernails/lol.

Blessed Serendipity said...

Your night sounded like fun to me. Friends really do make a huge difference in our lives. As I was reading your story, I really could imagine two women coloring and laughing and talking as the time flew by.


Charade said...

Loving this post, Jill. Would like to have seen your daughter's reaction when she learned you colored your way through part of the evening. I bet she gained a whole new respect for her old mom and godmother.

Saun said...

Love this story had me laughing and there's nothing wrong with coloring.We do it all the time too it's relaxing. Hope Becky had a good time.

Lottie said...

Wonderful story! I'm with you on the who goes out after 8:30 at night!

snowwhite said...

This is a heart-warming story. When I was young, I did not understand why my mom was worrying about me. But I understood everything when I gave birth to my child. I am proud to be my mother!! Becky is very happy to have mom like you.
But I smiled many times imagining two women coloring a book in a car at night.
Stay young at heart!! Thanks a lot for telling us such a great story!!

Susan said...

Loved your post - I thought it was just beaut how you both passed the time waiting for Becky!
I sort of understand my Mum better when I find I'm doing, and even saying, the same things as her sometimes!