Thursday, October 18, 2007

Something frightening...

My friend Justin loves to tell stories of his mom, Maureen. Maureen is little quirky in about the same way that a desert is a little dry. Her quirkiness is very entertaining to her 4 sons. When they get together, one will eventually ask about any new "Maureen stories". And, of course, all the brothers know that this is not an occasion to describe her general status or well being. It's a time to marvel at, and be amused by the ways in which Marueen sees and interacts with the world.

One example is an incident where she tells Justin to be very careful with people named Mark. Maureen was, at the time, employed alongside someone called Mark, and that guy was not someone to be trifled with. "As if," Justin would recount, "the very name of Mark conveys danger about the person who had the bad luck of receiving that name."

Justin's least favorite Maureen stories had to do with her concern over his bodily well being. Even when Justin was a fully grown adult, Maureen would regail him to put on a jacket because she was cold. It didn't matter that Justin might say, "But, mom, *I* am NOT cold." The fact that she was cold was sufficient evidence to decide the matter.

Maureen eventually developed an obsession with the amount of fluids that Justin consumed. "You don't urinate enough," she would claim. "You need to drink more fluids so you urinate more." This concern developed quite unexpectedly after Justin was in college. And while it was probably irritating to not be believed about his own assessment of his thirst, it was nevertheless a gem of a "Maureen story". To be saved for later and retold. Which is, of course, how I heard it.

Which brings me to my frightening experience.

I was on my way to bed tonight and I found a stuffed pokemon toy that belonged to my 2nd son (6 years old, 2nd of 4 sons). Earlier, when I was putting him to bed, I had asked him where "Turtwig" was - yes, I know the names of their pokemon toys, but that's not the frightening part. My son said that he had recently lost that one. So I felt pretty good about finding it for him and went to deliver it to him while he slept. I was hoping it would result in a happy surprise when he woke up

When I went in there, he had kicked off his covers. And in my head, I did a quick analysis. He's kicked off his covers - that would suggest that he's warm. But he's balled up really tightly in the fetal position. That would suggest he's cold. How do I break this tie? Well I'm a little chilly. He's probably a little cold. So I covered him back up.

On the way out the door, it hit me: I'm turning into Maureen.

I comfort myself with the thought that it's a disease that has a much higher incidence among parents. And I, like Maureen, have 4 sons. I wonder if this is a risk factor. I haven't been very concerned with their fluid intake. But still. It's 1:45 am. And I can't sleep. The comforting part isn't very.