My mother grew up very sheltered. She's very innocent when it comes to the ways of the world. She doesn't drink, never smoked, and has never cursed. I remember once when I was a little girl, I heard her call my Dad a "titty-baby". That was it for her. The mother of all curse words. I was a little wild, drank a lot, smoked and cursed...a lot. Not that she knew that. I worked very hard to keep it from her. I take that back, one time she saw me smoking. I was 20 and waiting for her to pick me up from the downtown bus station. I'd had a really rough summer living in Destin, Florida and needed to come home to get my head together and rest. She arrived early and when she rounded the corner and saw me sitting on a bench, duffle bag at my feet, with a cigarette in my hand, she cried. It broke my heart.
But these last 10 years or so, things have changed. For me, things really started to change when my girls became teenagers and I saw myself in them. And the way they treated me sometimes. And the way I treated my mother all those years ago. And the way she must have felt. Not that my daughters are wild and rebellious, they're aren't. They're good girls. But there have been plenty of moments when they have made me feel like the most ridiculous, unintelligent woman on the face of the earth with one withering glance.
My mother, at the age of 68, is changing, too. She's becoming more independent. She's trying new things. She texts like a 13 year old girl.
Mom's text: have i told u how much i luv u 4evr?
Me: I love you too, Mom!
So stinkin' adorable.
Last week, she bought a Kindle Fire. We've had a few tutoring sessions as she has never, ever, even turned on the computer at their house. The internet is a foreign concept to her. Amazon.com? Please. Email? No clue. Pandora blew her away. I don't blame her...it blows me away, too. She calls me and asks me how to wake up her Kindle, how to compose an email, how to turn it off, and how to turn it back on. She wants to learn how to put her things "up in the cloud" as she says. She needs lots of apps, she says, because all the girls at work have apps. What is an app, by the way, she asks?
The first day she bought it, after a two-hour long tutoring session at Starbucks, I reminded her how to purchase books at Amazon.
"Oh, no...I'm not buying books for this thing. I only read real books," she said.
"Naah....I just want to learn how to transfer money from my savings to my checking account. Oh yeah, and I want to shoot people emails. I definitely want to do that."