As a child, I used to sit outside of my mother’s closed bathroom door as she did whatever bathroomly stuff that mothers did and read to her from my latest issue of Sports Illustrated. I’d recite stats from the previous night’s baseball game and tell her about the latest musician that I liked.
And I thought my mother was interested in all that I had to tell her.
But now, decades later, as my son sits on the couch shouting to me things like, “Daddy! This girl in Minecraft has her own cat!” or “Daddy, listen to this Demi Lovato song!” that I have come to the shocking realization that my mother had absolutely zero interest in what I was telling her.
In retrospect, I can’t imagine why she’d want to know the current batting average of Jack Clark or hearing me read the entire article of the Curious Case of Sidd Finch, but she somehow would add enough “mmmm-hmmm’s” to make me feel like she cared.
And as I sit here decades later, I find myself saying “mmmmm-hmmmm” a lot and I think back to my mother and say, “Well played, Mom. Well played.”