@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
Arms Reaching Out For Mom
Men are intrinsically not great with new born babies. For the most part. Because they know. The baby wants the mother. And that initial barrier, I think, makes men nervous near babies. It’s not that they don’t like them. It’s that they are worried the baby will cry. And want to be held by a woman. Comfortable in maternal arms. And I get that.
And then, when we’re old and our minds start going to shit, we once again reach out to mother… especially those of us lucky enough to have loving mothers (unfortunately, there are some bad mothers out there). I had seen this over and over again in the years I worked in the nursing home. If one reaches very old age, you start to regress, mentally, back into a child… and ultimately, a baby. Mentally, of course. Not literally. Except a certain breed of jellyfish that is literally immortal because when they age they are able to do something to their DNA and transform back into a youth. Which seems kind of unfair. I mean, imagine reincarnation is real and you die and come back a jellyfish— and it’s like, good news and bad new— you’re going to live forever! Yay! But as a jellyfish! Booooo!
The Alzheimer patients at the nursing home especially pined for their mothers. I suppose what’s left of a brain in ruin is the longing for the original caretaker, the one who brought you into this world and held you and made you feel safe for the first time. The first moment you experienced unconditional love. There was one Alzheimer’s patient, I remember, who was an escape artist. The Alzheimer’s unit was locked you needed a code to go in and out. One woman would stand by the door with this little childlike purse and ask people if they could take her to the lobby because her mother was waiting for her there. It was sad but also a little funny.
One time, my mom and I were talking, as we often do. I was talking about all my dreams, grandiose as they seemed. One day, writing for a sitcom. A stand-up set on late night TV. Selling a screenplay and going to the movie theater and seeing my name on the “written by” credit. I’ve had that dream for so long, so many times. Improbable as it seems. And my mom said, “my dream was always just to be a mom. Isn’t that pathetic?”
And that comment made me sad. Because it’s not pathetic at all. It’s beautiful. And noble. Furthermore, because it was her dream to be a mother, she gave us, myself, my sister and brother, a stellar childhood.
History starts to repeat itself as I watch my sister’s son and daughter reach out to her. And then my brother’s son, trailing his mom around and hugging her every moment he gets.
So, remember folks, you can never call your mom too much. Even if there’s nothing new to report. Call your mom. And reach out to her with your arms stretched. Because she will always have her arms open to you.