I’m fixin’ to begin my journey to Romania and Ireland, and I was at my mom’s house last night before I left. I found out that even though I had already explained to her what I will be doing, she had a different view of reality.
Reality: I will be living in a developed city and will be volunteering in an orphanage, at a hospital (holding and taking care of precious babies), and teaching English at a Kindergarden.
My mom’s altered reality? Read on…
(every time she says “shuffling”, imagine her with a sullen face, sulked over, dragging her feet as she slowly moves across the room…because that’s what she was doing)
[Ethan is my brother and Crystal is his girlfriend]
Mom: you sure you’ll be okay? I imagine you shuffling along in tattered clothing and dust is all around and you don’t have food. Then an old pickup truck drives by, with 47 people in there, and they’re holding their chickens, and you know there’s like no gas in it and the guy is chugging to to town…they’re trying to get a ride to town for their once monthly thing. And they pass Chloe and she’s shuffling, and they all smile and wave “Oh, Americano!” and they have no teeth and so you sign to them that you’re an American…
Me: Because apparently all 47 of them are Deaf??
Mom: You don’t speak, they don’t speak the language! And so when you got those sparkly red Converse at Christmas and you said you were taking them to Romania I was like “noooo…they’re priceless, you can’t shuffle with those on the way to the orphanage with your little shall, and like….you’re so dirty because there’s no showers…”
Ethan: Mom! She’s not going to a remote village in Africa!
Me: Thank you!
Mom: I don’t know! But really, I was like all worried because I thought that!
Me: Mom, I’ll live in a city!
Mom: Do they have, like, cars?? So you won’t just be eating rice? But it’s like so sad!
Me: Your vision is sad, but reality is good!
Mom: I really just have to see some pictures because I don’t want to have you come home and I gotta scrape the dirt off of you, caked on there…
Me: Mom, they have everything you need to live…they’re humans!
Mom: Dude, in the bush they have everything you need to live! A loin cloth and a Coke bottle and a stick! To hunt!
Ethan: To hunt?
Me: With a stick??
Crystal: How do you spell the city? [she is on the computer]
Me: I-A-S-I. Iasi.
Mom: Oh, are you gonna…? Wait, I thought you said it started with an L?
Me: It looks like an L when you type it with some fonts…but it’s a capital I.
Mom: Shut the font door…
Crystal: Here it is. [turns the computer so we can see pictures of Iasi]
Mom: Ok, let’s see a picture! Do they have McDonalds there?
Crystal: They have McDonalds everywhere.
Mom: So, like, if I got you a gift card, could you use it?
And on, and on, and on….we proceeded to look at pictures of Iasi and my mom was so amazed that it was a real city. She said it looked nicer than America.
The next day I came into the living room before I went to the airport, and my mom was posed with the ukelele…ready to sing a song…and this ensued.
What did I learn from this? Next time I leave the country, I need to sit my mom down and educate her about where I will be going and what it is like to live there.