Square Peg ● Round Hole







When the phone rings on any given morning, and the caller ID reveals my mother’s number, I know something is wrong. First, she is not a morning person. Her tendency is to sleep until noon, but obviously, something was interrupting her routine.

“There is a strange woman here and my normal caregiver is sick.”

Normally, I receive a phone call if there is a change in personnel. Mom was obviously upset about not knowing in advance and proceeded to tell me that this person could only stay until one. They were sending someone else to replace her.

“I don’t want anyone else to come after this one leaves. Can you take me to my hair appointment? Oh, and Alexa won’t let me call you anymore. So, I had to have the woman from the agency dial your number since I can’t see the keypad.”

To say that I wouldn’t be sad that Alexa lost my number would be an understatement. Does that make me a bad daughter? Anyway, I went over the instructions again with her about how to ask Alexa to call me. Mom tends to give her BFF long, winded monologues. I think Alexa gets annoyed and simply tells her “I don’t know what you are saying”.

So, I called the agency to reiterate the need for me to be notified when there is a change and cancelled the chick that was suppose to come at 1. We arrived at the salon where I helped her shed the many layers of clothing she was wearing, and settled in to wait for her stylist.

“Do you want to get your hair done? Not that you need to have it done, but we are at a salon.”

“Mom, this isn’t Great Clips (no offense to those who delight in that establishment) where you simply walk in without an appointment. Besides, I am not cheating on my stylist who happens to be a good friend. There is etiquette about this type of thing. Thank you for the offer.”

“What about some hair products?”

“They don’t carry what I use, but thank you for offering.”

Our conversation continues until she is whisked away and I am left to wait for her.

There is an amazing transformation when my mother is pampered. First, her stylist is wonderful with her and, for me, when my hair looks good, it brightens my whole demeanor. She was all smiles.

These are the moments that I cherish. When she is happy, content, and not anxious about what is going to happen next. Sure, they are fleeting. But, they are special nonetheless. Under all the layers, there is this loving, kind, and generous woman. When things are not so smooth, I need to remember these experiences. They provide insight and allow me to shift my expectations to a more realistic level. Progress not perfection.