Sometimes my mother will say or do something so strange or utterly clueless, that all I can do is pull her onto my lap (for my mother is very wee and weighs nothing, and the genes that cause that are apparently recessive, damn it), gently take her face into my hands and whisper,
“You would have been eaten by wolves if it weren’t for me. Do you understand that? BY WOLVES.”
And she will dismiss me in that charming Italian way of hers, saying something like, “Oh, Geraldine, do shut up,” while sounding exactly like Arianna Huffington.
Recently, though, I realize I’ve evaluated the situation improperly. I simply thought, for years, that there was something wrong with my mother.