"don't forget me at the airport"

...she said.

i laughed but after we hung up i realized that these are things my mom actually worries about. that and the bart tunnel under the bay. i have told her at least five times in the last few weeks that the bridge goes OVER the water and that i won't make her go on bart.

she's coming to visit me this week, thursday through monday. she hasn't been to the bay area since 1999. we went through a rough period, my parents and i. i had a young and short-lived and ill-advised marriage which i left and then immediately began dating the hot asian girl. which they obviously didn't understand so we didn't talk for a couple years. in the meantime 9/11 happened and her fear of flying and her claustrophobia, relatively manageable previously, took over. she hasn't voluntarily flown anywhere since.

i say voluntarily because my brother got married a couple years ago in jamaica but it's not like she could choose NOT to go to that. there was cajoling and valium involved.

so. since she last visited i have left a marriage and dated girls and dated boys and moved to the city and moved back to oakland and finished school and started working and changed jobs and gone back to school and and andand. i tell her things about my life, but she's never seen it. she doesn't know my best friends.

this is gonna be hard for her, travelling here on her own. she's gentle and nervous, she likes to have someone there to fret at, to tell her where she needs to be. mostly i think she's afraid of not being in control. she's afraid she'll get into a situation where she's not okay and she won't be able to handle it and there won't be anyone there to help her.

somehow she ended up with me as a daughter and i, in my delusions of grandeur, have never been able to accept that i am incapable of anything. i blame my parents actually, when i was young they told me i could do anything in the world that i wanted to do, and i believed them. so i'm rarely afraid of things, and when i am afraid it just makes me that much more firmly resolved to do whatever it is. to prove that i can.

but she is different and i'm realizing now that bravery looks like different things to different people.

i'm proud of my mom.