EBU(Senior group) Fine Work
“Most of all, I love our daily routine”
Denmark Susanne Nooyen(39/Female)
She can’t see, my Mom. That is, she sees a lot of things, but not by using her eyes like other people, but she can see me. She sees me when I open the cupboard which you can only reach by using a stool. She “sees” it when I reach for the toys which are not allowed at table - her vinsion’s perfect then. At other times, when we’re standing at the bus stop, and I’ve moved just a fraction away, then she calls me with concern in her voice, and I answer: “but I’m right here”.
We’re on our way home. Mom’s at her workplace finishing off the last things. They ask for an address and a phone number. She gives it to them. I can see that they’re impressed, “you’re She who Remembers”, they say. Mom smiles while she closes the small computer hanging across her body like a smart shoulder bag - “it’s this one that remembers”, she says. I can see in their eyes that they don’t believe it. Nothing indicates information, it’s just a line of dots, - only an inconceivable combination of buttons. I’ve seen her fingers sliding over them – I know that there’s immense knowledge there. Perhaps half of her knowledge is in that computer, the other half is in her head. They also need to book a meeting. Mom types on a couple of buttons, slides her fingers along the line. “that’s fine” she says. “by the way, it’s a Thursday, not a Tuesday”. They exchange looks. she turns her face towards them, teasing them a bit, I think. I think my Mom’s clever – I can sense it in their reactions. I feel that she’s often able to help them, because she senses things from the computer through her fingers, just because she can do it.
Now, she takes my hand, says goodbye, and we walk home together among all the cars, and we walk just as quickly as many of the cars which are stuck in traffic jams. I also have quite a few things to tell her from my day at school, and I tell her that once again I’ve got a small cut on my hand, I can’t remember how I got it, but I know that at home, we’ve got Winnie the Poo sticking plaster to put on it. So there we are, walking along, Mom’s got warm hands, the air smells of cars and sun.
Now, the sun has almost disappeared from our kitche, Dad’ll be home soon, and I’m stirring the bubbling saucepan. Mom finds the spices, and I smell them. Here’s cumin, Oregano, curry and thyme, good smells. Mom’s finger slides over the small dots on the jar, each time she takes one from the shelf. Before she allows me to smell the spices, she tells me where they come from and how hot they are. I let my finger run along the small dots on the jar. Little bubbles, almost like goose bumps, or coarse fabric, so small and yet so significant.
Mom gets the milk. She uses the dots here as well, that is, if we remember to buy the right brand, because only one brand has the dots on it. She chooses semi-skimmed milk. She uses skimmed milk in her coffee, so we’ve got different types, and this is how she recognizes them. That’s good, she says, because you can’t tell the different types of milk by smelling them. Because she uses her sense of smell as well, she knows yoghurt, sowerd whole milk and buttermilk that way, but not skimmed and semi-skimmed. When she’s too busy she sometimes forgets to smell properly, then she almost puts yoghurt in her coffee. Then both baby brother and I give the alarm, but she’d taste it anyway. There ought to be more dots on milk and all the other things, so that Mom’d be able to recognize them.
Dad comes home, we eat, and then it’s homework time. Mom can’t help me with my homework. That is, she can do a bit, I spell words and she knows how, but she can’t get my books with dots. I feel that she’d like to help more, and that this is something she’d like to do together with me, but it’s hard to make it work. I think she’s a bit upset about it, but we’ll be all right, and that’s what I tell her. The book she reads to baby brother is full of pictures, there are no dots, but she gets it out of her head. Baby brother takes her hand and places it on the lions that go Whaaaa!! “look” he says, and she smiles. I suggest that we play Black Man. I like that a lot, because the “black man” is the only card Mom has had the time to mark with dots, then she knows if she’s got it, but I know too, and then I’m sure to win.
At bedtime, she reads me a goodnight story. We’re reading Harry Potter. It’s exciting, and I always want extra chapters, and I get them sometimes. We can read with the light off, the dots beneath Mom’s fingers don’t require light, so I’m listening with my eyes closed. This is the best time of the day, just imagine if I couldn’t get my story because there were no books with dots, just as Mom can’t always help me with my homework. But I don’t think about that, because there are plenty of books to read during the coming years, Mom says. So now, I’m lying here, I can hear the silent woosh of Mom’s fingers on the page, her voice that becomes several voices, Harry’s Ron’s and Hermione’s, and then I feel that I’m getting tired and my body becomes heavy. I feel Mom’s kiss on the cheek and her nose in my hair. Half dreaming, I know that the book’s waiting underneath the bed, ready for tomorrow night.