The shortest line between me and insanity is repetition.
Drove with Mom to see the boy yesterday. Back to Conroe. It's about a 50 minute drive, and we take the same way from Mom's house every time we go, which has now been five.
Mom has taken to commenting out loud on what she sees during the drive. It's a bit like when the children were learning to read and exercising their new skills on signs they saw with words they recognized. That was cute and good practice. But it's something else entirely from an 80-year old.
Why are they changing lanes again? They just changed lanes. People who change lanes all the time like that, they're dangerous. Be sure that you don't ever drive like that.
Come to think of it, that kind of commentary she's made all my driving life.
But the sign reading, that's new. Except it's the same sign that puzzles her every time.
No trucks in left lane. That's something new, I haven't seen that before.
Well, yes, yes she has. Ten times that I know of because I've driven the car each time, north and south, that she's seen that sign. And it doesn't drive me insane, not really. But yesterday morning I did tell her that she says that every time we drive to Conroe.
I've never seen that sign before in my life. Why would you say it's something I say every time?
I didn't answer her because suddenly I was two inches tall, and wondering that myself. What was I trying to accomplish with my words? What does it matter?
When we were driving home and she noticed and commented on the sign for the first time again, I kept silent. But I did grip the steering wheel something fierce.
And then I let the whole point go, because again I asked myself, What does it matter? And the answer is that it matters not in the least.
Next time it will be funny. Next time I'll count down 3-2-1 and she'll say it on cue. And I'll shake my head and smile. Part of me will even be comforted by the new familiarity.
This is her world now, and oftentimes, much of it is new.