A few weeks ago, my mother announced to me that she thought of the perfect gift for me for Christmas.
Now, for those of you unfamiliar with my mother, this means that whatever I happened to think of the gift idea is immaterial. She has thought of it, and therefore, it is perfect. Whatever it is. She may have decided that I need an anteater. And if that is the case? An anteater is what will be wrapped up for me under the tree Christmas morning.
Please. Don't get me wrong. I love my mother, she is the most wonderful mother ever. But sometimes her ideas of the "perfect gift" just aren't mine.
This year though, she outdid herself. But in a good way.
This year, she announced that what she would like to do for me for the whole of 2009, is give me 2 days a month in which she will come to my house and clean. That's right, I said clean. She will do baseboards, windows, blinds. She will launder curtains, clean rugs, polish furniture. She will dust, sterilize and wash. This 73-year old woman will spic-and-span my house at no charge. She will do it out of love, and out of respect for the fact that I just don't want, or need, any more stuff.
I cried. I really did. How great a gift is that? Now the thing about my mother, is that she kind of does this anyway. If she's babysitting the boys, she will also do the dishes. She'll organize stuff, sweep up the crumbs left from dinner, straighten the living room, stuff like that. Because she cannot sit still. She's not a TV watcher, really. She likes to read, but has only ever given herself the luxury of reading before she turns the light out in bed. She has worked ridonkulously hard her whole life. And now, in her retirement, this is what she wants to do. She's doing it so I don't have to. So that my weekends can be spent doing things I want to do. She's probably also doing it because she is appalled by the state of my house at any given time, but that's neither here nor there.
One time when she had spent a few days babysitting a sick toddler AND washing the floors AND cleaning our bathroom, I teased her that we just don't pay her nearly enough. And she laughed and said "I never had anyone to help me out, when you and Michael were little, and it was hard, with your dad working shifts and everything. So I wanted to make sure you did. Just promise me that you will do the same for Charles and Max when they have families, that's all I want."
Deal. You're the best, Nana.