Our family has somewhat of a tradition to gather together on Sunday afternoons for family dinner. I remember when I was first married and moved away from home. I looked forward to those Sunday dinners all week; not just for the fabulous meals that mom had prepared, but for the time to visit with my family. Mom equally loved our Sunday family time together and it was important to both my parents to have their kids gather together at least one day a week.
About 5 years ago, things started to change. Mom didn’t have the same resolve about us getting together. In fact, sometimes it seemed she was actually relieved if Sunday dinner didn’t happen or she’d find excuses to not have it. Her cooking variety became slimmer and slimmer; in fact, it kind of became a joke in the family,
“What will be for family dinner this week…tacos or spaghetti?”
Of course mom hasn’t participated in preparing a meal for more than a couple years now. Nowadays she doesn’t interact much with the family at all during our time together. If dinner is at her house, she stays in the office playing Free Cell on the computer; if it’s at my house she is on my computer playing her games. More recently (within the past few months), she hasn’t wanted to come over at all when dinner is at my house. It’s been like pulling teeth to get her to come.
Yesterday, family dinner was at my house. It was no surprise when dad stopped by without mom. We asked where she was, knowing full well that she was at home. Dad got a smirk on his face and shook his head, as he told us,
“She hid from me.”
“What do you mean she hid from you?” I asked, thinking she must have just locked herself in her room.
[Disclaimer: It would be much better if dad retold this so that I don’t get anything mixed up, but I’ll do my best to write it as I remember him telling me].
Dad told us of the events of the afternoon, starting from the time he woke up from his nap in the living room. He walked back to their bedroom and found that it was locked. He knocked for mom to answer the door, telling her to open up and that it was time to come to my house. No answer. He got the bedroom key and walked into the room. To his surprise, mom was not there. He looked around and could not find her. He looked in other rooms in the house and began to panic a little, wondering if she had escaped somewhere while he was napping. He went back to his bedroom to find mom on the floor, next to his side of the bed, in-between the bed and the french door. She was laying down on a pillow. When he asked her what she was doing there, she replied,
“I’m hiding from you. I don’t want to go to Cassandra’s”.
Dad got her off the floor and she followed him to the kitchen, talking his ear off. I don’t remember what he said was going on in the kitchen, but he said that one minute they were talking and the next minute he turned around and she was gone. He went to get her; it was time to leave to come over to my house. He went to her usual afternoon retreat: the computer. She wasn’t there. He went back to his bedroom and his search came up empty once again. He called her name. No answer. Finally, he made his way into the spare bedroom, thinking maybe she had hid in the closet. And there, in front of the closet and on the side of the TV stand, mom was crouched down, hands over her head, hiding from dad.
We were all chuckling as dad told the story. I guess mom really didn’t want to come over to my house!! This is a new one for mom…hiding. If any of you caregivers are reading this, beware! Mom just might try hiding from YOU the next time you come over!!