My mother is back in the hospital again and while she is better and getting out tomorrow it was another respiratory event. So I am writing another letter to my mother.
Having 8 kids in the house meant we often vied for your attention. I know that when I was really small you were either pregnant or taking care of a baby. Dad was always the one to put us to bed, singing songs while lying on the bed. Dad made his alone time with us, but you had to fight for it. But there was one year where I remember your alone time with me. It was the year I went to Kindergarten. I don’t know if you remember but I went to afternoon Kindergarten. So early in the morning the house woke up, the older kids went to school as dad went to work. I don’t remember where Pat and Mary Jane were but they were small and you probably dealt with them as I watched Captain Kangaroo, a science show on CJOH, and Sesame Street. But when Family Affair came on, with that Kaleidoscope at the start we spent the next half-hour together. You would get me dressed as we watched the show, you would sing to me during commercials, including your re-write of the Georgie Girl song by The Seekers from the movie in the 60s. You knew that for the first 5 years of my life I was Eddie at home, but when I went to school I had a choice and I chose to be called by my real name, George, not my nickname. You started calling me George long before any of the other kids or even dad did. I was happy for the new name and it made me feel grown up. But those moments I remember, just us, chatting, you telling me about how important school, the singing, and of course our connection to Buffy and Jodie. You let me have the TV for the morning and when your soap opera came on I knew it was time for me to go the corner and walk the one block to school. Thank you for those moments that 40 years later still make me smile. You made me feel special in the chaos that was our home. I hope that those moments were special to you too.