It is a mother’s prerogative to correct her children. In fact, a mother would be remiss in her duties if she were to NOT do so. It’s a habit that starts when one’s children are young and it never really abates. We correct (or criticize) their manners, their clothes, their grades, their friends, their habits. In my case, I prefer to correct spelling and punctuation mistakes…especially for Gill.
When we first began writing this blog, we lived together and it was easier to call attention to her occasional errors in text. Easier in the sense that it was more convenient to track her down and corner her until she fixed the errors. There was nowhere for her to go to escape the eagle eye of the disapproving and self-appointed editor-in-chief, moi.
I have to say, I admired her poise. She rarely blew up over my nitpicking. She objected when I hovered outside her closed door, waiting for a signal that I could have an audience. “Are you busy?” I’d ask tentatively.
“Yes…that’s why the door is closed.”
“What do you want, Ma?”
“I just caught a few errors in your blog for tomorrow…thought you might want to correct them…”
“Okay…put them by the door and I’ll look at them later.”
“But…if you let me come in for just a teensy minute, we can get it all sorted out quickly and then you won’t have to worry about it all day. Besides, the blue jays at the feeder just did the cutest thing. I must tell you about it.”
“Trust me, Ma, I won’t be worrying about an errant semi-colon. And you told me a funny blue jay story five minutes ago. How many cute things can one bird do in an hour?”
“Oh. It’s only that we want each blog to be as good as it can be…and the blue jays WERE really sweet.”
“Ma, focus! I’ll get to the corrections. Tell the blue jay I’ll have a few minutes around lunch time. He can be cute for me then.” This was the point where I skulked away, more crushed that she didn’t want to share bird stories than that she wasn’t doing the corrections.
But now that we do our blogs at a distance, I can get a jump on criticisms and corrections. With Gill so busy at her day job and writing her novels, I am usually the one who ends up thinking of topics for the blog. In a sense, hers is the more difficult task — to follow my lead and somehow make her blog relate to mine. I’m not mean — I try to think of something that will give her some scope or an opening for an insult or an opposing view. I try to imagine what she might say. This is generally easy since we know each other very well. I can predict, if not precisely what she will say, the general direction she will take. But I enjoy reading her blogs and am often impatient to read them. She makes me laugh and I look forward to her take on things. Curiosity may have killed the cat but it also does a number on a mother. My idea of a great day is when she is behind and has to write three blogs in one day to catch up. And I sometimes get to read them as she’s writing. I feel I’ve hit the jackpot!
Soon after she’s finished writing, she will email me that she’s completed her blogs for the week. I wait a respectful time (at least an hour) before emailing her back with the news that I have just read and enjoyed them…when I was ACTUALLY proof reading the second she stopped typing.
“Gill, I was out doing errands and finally had a chance to sit down and read your new blogs!” I lie. Living here, she could hold me at bay. Online, not so much. I’m just another interested, somewhat obsessive mother anxious to hear from and about her adult child. So sue me!