As I approached the kitchen I could hear her, to herself, as usual. “Where did I leave that chart?  I was at the desk...did I take it to bed?” 

Oh, she heard me.  “Hi Rita. You’re home early…me too.  I just had a crazy day at work today, and forgot a file on my desk… I think.  I came home to…(pause) it’s not here either.  Just too much paper - I hate paper!”  Still rushing about, scattering piles of files, papers, books, and focused on her stuff, my mother, Tina, moves quickly from her writing area to the bedroom and back again.  She says, “So, no practice today?  Why are you home so early?” 

I made my way to the TV and snuggled into my favorite seat.  The comfort of the recliner offers some quiet space.  Maybe my mother wouldn’t want to disturb me while I'm watching a show.  But no...

”Someone left a message on the machine, Rita, but I can’t understand it, listen to it please."  Looking around, not finding me... “Rita.  Rita”, she calls louder. 

“Yes, Mom,” I answered, “I’m watching TV”. 

“Rita,” now standing beside me in the den, “I’m going back to the office.  I’ll be back before 5 and then you can tell me all about your day.  Think about what you want for dinner and call me on my cell if I need to stop to pick up something on the way home.  I’m sure there’s food in the fridge, but I just haven’t had a chance to think about it."  Tina continues, "I’ll check for that paper in my car on the way.  I’m just so busy."

The End

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