December 16: doodles & dental care

On this day in 1988, my Mom went to what we, living on a military base overseas, called "the exchange." The AAFES Main Store was basically our one-stop solution for non-grocery items, like a small department store.

She bought a variety of things there that evening, including "doodles", "dental care", hair accessories, and girl's clothes, undoubtedly some of which were Christmas presents nine days later. She spent $83.30 and paid by check.

I, on the other hand, with no "AAFES Main Store" to shop at, went to Costco. I picked up an item I'd ordered from the photo department, then spent a little over $50 on holiday-related merchandise.

The only way I was able to go to Costco on a Friday afternoon is because I'd taken that day off to attend holiday parties at each kid's school, one in the morning, the other in the late afternoon. The last couple of years since I went back to work full-time, my work-life balance, as they say, pretty cushy in comparison, have given me new perspective on remembering my Mom, she working sometimes more than one full-time job (when she was a single parent), while juggling the needs of two children, running holiday errands after 8 p.m. The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas have proven most challenging for me as a full-time, working-outside-the-home parent, when so many additional factors are added to what is essentially a math equation that already rarely works out each week. These kinds of weeks were her last.

No comments: