My mother must have loved me as a kid, because whenever she sees me she imagines that I haven’t grown up. She seems to think that I still like all the same things I did when I was 10, and with the same amount of enthusiasm.
She visited me one day and we went for a walk around a cluster of shops. We went into a shop that sold furniture as well as a wide array of kitsch. Desk toys, picture frames, books. On the wall were posters of classic books.
I was in a corner of the store, engrossed in an overpriced ceramic duck, when I heard my mom yell to me, from across the room:
“Cameron!! Look!! Narnia!!!”
Evidently, my mom had noticed the book posters.
She was still crying out for me to look when I arrived next to her, silently pleading for her to lower her voice, looking around in embarrassment. “Okay, mom, yeah, I see it, sure it’s nice.”
I hadn’t read or really thought about those books in at least 15 years. I certainly didn’t talk to my mom about them in that time. The poster depicting the Narnia books held no more interest to me than the other posters.
But my mom was VERY excited on my behalf.
Similarly, my mom thinks that, if there is something I like a lot, it is special and unique to me, and if there is anything about it somewhere else in the world—well, that’s just amazing.
Later on that same day we found ourselves in a bookstore. I don’t remember what book I was looking at, but, as in the kitsch store poster situation, my mom was a good ways away. Suddenly I hear, “Cameron!”
I came over to her, and she had a book opened up in front of her. In the book were pictures of cats.
“Yes?” I asked.
“There are pictures of cats in this book!”
“So I see.”
“It’s perfect for you!”
It’s true, I do love cats. I spent years fostering them and now I volunteer at a shelter. But suggesting that a book is perfect for me because there are (fairly standard, not particularly interesting) pictures of cats in it is like pointing out the Dreyer’s chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream at the grocery store and animatedly exclaiming that that half gallon of ice cream is perfect for me because that’s my favorite flavor. “Perfect” is the wrong word for something so dull and ubiquitous, and even if sort of true it doesn’t warrant nearly the level of excitement my mom had. So, maybe that book was perfect for me, and also for the rest of the internet.
Maybe for Mother’s Day I should introduce my mom to lolcats.
Happy Mother’s Day!