f2fb friend #195 patti schmidt is probably the single most consistent family friend to my boys joseph and eastman. she works at the winnetka community house devising programs to keep children entertained and educated. when my boys were growing up, they might run into patti four times a week and every year we do the haunted house together! i am VERY good at spooking little kids.
i wanted so much to go to one of the fantasy dance classes or the little miss tea parties she devises, but she told me that, at 51 years, i was just forty six years too damn old.
instead, we had our toes painted. she got blue, i did sparkly silver. i told her about f2fb friend #73 tim crawford who makes once a week a “tim crawford day” with some attention to grooming, car care, relaxation. with tim, i had a pedicure too–and he suggested that more people should take one day out of seven to totally devote themselves to themselves.
patti lives at her parental home and her mother has alzheimer’s. her mother’s disease has progressed so much that she doesn’t really recognize her family members and she can’t care for her personal needs. patti’s devotion–the devotion of the entire family–is predicated and motivated by the memory of all that mom did before. the care she gave. the dinners she made. the sicknesses she nursed her children through. the time she took to teach patti and her siblings how to tie a shoe, to ride a bike, to weather a first romantic upset.
patti cares for her mother weekday nights after work and also gives up at least one weekend day for fulltime care. would i do that for my mom? my mom put me up for adoption when i was three–if she appeared at my doorstep? maybe. and that’s a very soft maybe.
patti needs a once a week “tim crawford day”.
frenchie was the daughter of f2fb friend #99 cristina persico who lost both frenchie and frenchie’s father in the course of one year. the entrance of the community house has a reminder of the persico family, but also of the entire town’s ability to rally for its citizenry.
i had a great time giggling and gossiping with patti, but i realized that i need to do it more often. patti gets one hour a day for lunch and sure it’s great to head out for some pampering in her circumstances. but it’s me who needs it. i need that friendship. so i’m making a commitment to seeing patti more often. if only because OPI sparkle me silver nail polish won’t last forever!