Today my mom turned 84. Taking mom out has been overwhelming and while I am in the process of getting a travel wheelchair and a DMV parking form, it made more sense to celebrate with her in her community. We are both adapting to this new normal.
We started with the hamburger and Mom quickly dug in.
Thanks to those of you who made suggestions about some other activities to try. Some of the new ones include:
Magic Painting. This came from Mary (Thank you). I recalled using it with my daughter when she was young and we were unable to find any for mom’s birthday. So instead, we got a stained glass window kit. We had a good time doing this together and now the completed work hangs in my mom’s window. It goes well with the 4 oil paintings hanging in her room that she painted herself years ago. It took some time for her to feel confident she could put the pieces in the right spot, but we traded off and she watched as we struggled to get the shapes in exactly the right spot too.
My daughter was trying out some painting that included water colors on the pages. One word of warning: lots of other residents will be attracted and come visit while you visit. Unfortunately, one of the residents drank the water-glass for the paints before my daughter could stop her. Thankfully, they are non-toxic. We will try this again next time.
Mona Lou (Thank you) mentioned doing real painting. This requires a room that can be locked since it’s more time-consuming. My mom was a painter and unfortunately, her community doesn’t have this activity, but I’m working on seeing if it might be something they try out.
Mona Lou also mentioned music. I could always get my parents and then just my mom to the events with music in her old community. The bigger the band the better. She hasn’t been very interested in the solo musicians or just listening to recorded music and the new community doesn’t attract or schedule the big bands. Just because she doesn’t like it today (or does like it today), doesn’t mean she won’t enjoy it tomorrow. Always open for trying good ideas again.
Hand-holding. Thank you to Remember Me who mentioned this is always a nice way to spend time with his wife. I agree. I shared my feeling that hand holding was underrated as I was navigating my dad’s cancer options about 2 years ago.
Animal picture books. Mary also shared that she created picture books with a wide variety of animals they could look through that her dad enjoyed.
This milestone felt like just another mark on a long journey on which I’ve embarked. Thank you for offering many new ways to re-engage and spend a nice day with the mother I love. Celebrated.