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When The Mom announced that she would be in Oz for the better part of three weeks, I was of course thrilled for her. I also worried: if she was gone for three weeks that would mean my list of people I spoke to would shrink considerably. I’m not including emails here, because I do email my pals, here in the UK and of course back home in Canada, it’s just that, what with me working from home for two days a week, I can literally go for four days without human contact.

And part of me loves that. A great, big writerly part of me thinks that’s the best thing EVER. But now that I’m in a new city where I don’t have many pals yet, it has become rather obvious that talking to someone once a week can be a good thing.

I could’ve gone the route of sharing and had flatmates to talk to but I can’t cope with flatmates anymore. I don’t want to queue for the shower, and more importantly I wanted to be able to host my other friends in Bristol. It’s important to be able to have guests come and stay without having it be in any way weird, as it could easily be with flatmates.

So as the date for her trip grew nearer, I got a bit funny. And I knew she noticed because there were several emails before she went advising me that I ought to Skype Crazy D or L’il Sis if I got a bit lonely. But the thing is The Mom has Mom-level patience with me, that my brother and sister have not yet attained. They are Very Good, but they’re not at ninja level yet.

So, for example, when I was ill with arthritis to the point where the doctors were throwing opiates at me, I messaged my siblings and got a reply. But had The Mom been around we would’ve had a nice long Skype where she joined me in feeling pitiful. There are just some things that only a Mom can properly do. Crazy D was a bit nervous at the fact that I now had access to all kinds of medication, and L’il Sis, suffering from the same kind of arthritis, just sighed with empathy and told me she hated when it got that bad and hoped I’d feel better soon. All of which is very good, but not at the Mom-level I really wanted.

That and The Mom decided to go away when I had just started to look for flats and was freaking out a bit in a way that I was rendered inconsolable about my desperate state without talking to her and having her actually just make fun of me for a half-an-hour or so.

It’s strange I suppose to some at this age to be in such close contact with one’s parent. But then, The Mom’s not just any old parent, she’s The Mom, she’s my Mom and she is tolerant and funny and these are things that are often in rather short supply. In fact, she’s such a popular lady that I’ve friends here who have never met the woman but will happily and readily profess their undying love of her. She has that effect on people. IT might be the wine, but equally it might just be her.

So looking at a full three weeks without much in the way of human interaction flummoxed me. To whom would I relate my zany tales of woe? To whom would I moan and complain about everything? Who would join my in my pity parties?

It was a long three weeks, brightened by the arrival of her morning emails listing off all the birds she’d pointed at and exclaimed over. Even without the benefit of a video call, I could hear in the tone of her messages how thrilled and utterly delighted she was. That I had three weeks of minimal chat was a small price to pay – and I also had a house guest from London over the first weekend, so you know, it was really just two weeks spent talking to myself and the houseplant.

I’m ever so glad that she’s back because there is no one else in the world who thinks I’m as funny as she does. Honestly, sometimes I think I ought to charge her – then I remember how expensive I have been to raise and generally maintain. Once that thought occurred to me I decided to look upon her vacation as a break from all the hard work I do entertaining her.

I cannot suppose what The Pig thought of all this, but I also know that The Pig and I were mightily glad to have The Mom back within the fold.