June 20, 2019

Meant2Be: Answering the call

My mother called me at 9 last night, which was midnight at her home in Canada. I missed her call and she didn’t leave a message. She called again at 10, but I didn’t answer in time and it went to voicemail. This time, she left a message saying she couldn’t sleep and thought I’d be up for a chat. I didn’t call her back as it was now 1 a.m. at her place and I didn’t want to wake up my sister.

At 10:30 p.m., she called again. She was worried about me since I didn’t answer her calls. I missed her call for the third time as I ran out to my car to get a folder I needed for work, and for some reason I didn’t take my phone with me. Her call was on the final ring when I got back and I missed it again. Ugh. I was worried about my mom now, so I decided I would call her back even though it was so late.

I called and when she had not answered after two rings, I decided to hang up before I woke up anyone. Less than 10 seconds later, my phone rang. I answered and rather than saying hello, I asked my mother if she was OK. It wasn’t my mother but rather my sister. She was groggy and spoke softly as she asked me if I was OK. She said she heard the phone ring, missed it and was scared since I was calling so late. Oy vey

So now I’m awake and worried about my mother, my mother is awake and worrying about me, and my sister is awake for absolutely no reason. I was restless and could not sleep.  I thought about my mom being up. I slept with my phone in my hand just in case she called again. I kept checking the time to see if it was too early to call. At 5 a.m. L.A. time, I called my mother, and when she answered we both spoke at the exact same time. “Are you OK?”

We laughed and it was a sweet moment. I am 50 years old and my mother worries about me in the same way I worry about my child. I will always be her baby, and phone calls in the middle of the night will always be scary. Calling your child and them not answering also is scary. I thought about all the times my son has not answered. I thought about my mother, who has four children, and all the unanswered calls she has had. I spoke with my sister. We talked about calls in the middle of the night when you have kids. Together we had a moment of clarity about our mom and wondered if our kids would be in their 50s before having the same clarity about us.

I called my son and, of course, he didn’t answer my call, which was hilarious. And by hilarious, I mean not funny. When my boy got home from work, I told him about the phone call fiasco and he tried to look interested. He wasn’t. I am certain that one day he will call his kids, they won’t answer and he will call me to tell me he is sorry for every time he didn’t answer my call.

I made him promise that when the day comes that his kids don’t answer his calls, he will call me to say sorry. I might have to call him a few times to remind him, so hopefully he will answer the phone. It turns out your relationship with your mother makes sense when you become a mother. I don’t like phone calls in the middle of night, unless it is good news, so I’ve got my ringer turned up, and I’m keeping the faith.

Do you have a story about dating, marriage, singlehood or any important relationship in your life? Email us at meant2be@jewishjournal.com.