Tonight, on the phone with my mom, we started talking about my sister. My mother had just commented about the fact that Raina is kind of dirty (dirt from the yard, crumbs in the car, used Q-tips in the bathroom dirty. What were you thinking I meant?). My mom continued with, “it really doesn’t matter if she’s dirty, though, because she has me.”
You see, for once in her life, my sister isn’t bucking the trends of her generation, and at the age of 23 (almost 24) is living with the parents. She is making no signs that she is considering moving on. When she first moved back, she said that it was just for three months. That was a year and a half ago.
I tried to explain to my mother why she may never leave. The list went something like this, “You clean, you cook, you do her laundry, you take care of her cat. You grocery shop, you repair holes in her clothes and you wash her sheets. You make her tea, you clean her water bottles and you let her take over the living room. Why on earth would she leave?”
My mother thought about it for awhile, and even over the phone, I could see the gleeful grin spread across her face. Then the mother said, “She pays for those services with her sanity, because you see, I have the joy and responsibility of making her a little crazy. When she’s out late, I call her cell phone to see if she’s okay. I yell after her as she leaves, telling her to drive safely. I tease her about sex and make her blush. See, she doesn’t have it as good as you think, because I still get to mother her, whether she likes it or not.”
I thought about it for a minute and had nothing. She was right. It seems to be a fair exchange of services.