I grew up in a family of phone talkers. In the ’50s my mom talked to her mom every morning. My dad called his mother every night and my mom checked in with her sister-in-law every morning.
Flash forward five decades and I’m calling my mom every night to catch up on our days. This has become our nightly ritual since my dad died twelve years ago. I enjoy our conversations which may only last a few minutes or sometimes as long as a half hour.
Yesterday, four generations of us “girls” talked to each other. My daughter called my mom to say hello, and then a few minutes later she helped her two-year old call back so she could say hi to her great-grandma.
My five-year old granddaughter called me for our regular afternoon storytelling ritual. She’s learned to dial my number and I tell her a story while her little sister takes a nap. An hour later my daughter called me to catch up while she was out walking and I ended the evening by calling my mom to say good night. I told her how blessed I was that I could talk to my granddaughter, daughter and mom all in one afternoon.
Checking in by phone is a family tradition that helps us stay connected. It always seemed “normal” to me until I heard a conversation on Dr. Laura’s radio call-in show a few years ago. A woman caller mentioned she spoke to her mother everyday. Dr. Laura immediately jumped on her and said: “What in the world could you have to say to your mother everyday?” She made the woman feel as if she had participated in some aberrant behavior. I felt sorry for her and for Dr. Laura, too. Too bad Dr. Laura never had a good relationship with her mother—she might have enjoyed the friendship that is possible between mothers and daughters.
Many women phone their moms daily and many wish they still had that opportunity. Those of us who still can call our mothers are blessed. We know there’s one person who will always care about us and want to know what’s going on. And when your mother needs you, hopefully you’ll be there for her, too.