Hitchhiking with my Mother

Despite a hard relationship, I stopped cars to get my mother to her destination.

Posted Dec 31, 2015

lauramusikanski / morguefile
Source: lauramusikanski / morguefile

I am a quiet person. What made me summon cars to a screeching halt to get my mother where she wanted to go?

It was rush hour in Mexico City. In 1968 my mother and sister (who made the front page of the Monterrey, Mexico newspaper for descending the plane in a mini-skirt) had come to visit me when I was there on my Fulbright.

In a restaurant in Mexico City, I provoked my mother by asking her which one she would marry: my Mexican Catholic boyfriend or his Sancho Panza pal. "That would be the worst mistake you could make!" she sputtered, thinking longingly of my lawyer boyfriend in New York.

My mother had an urgency about seeing everything while she was there, while she was alive. It was 35 years before she would die, but I knew I must get her to the Pyramids of Teotihaucan. Tiny, narrow steps to the top, but so much longer to get there in rush hour.

I stuck out my thumb and within minutes we were in a stranger's car, careening to the pyramids.

Years later, my mother and I were in Rome. A typically terrible trip, where we had to share a room and boundaries like a closed bathroom door had no meaning.

What made me stick out my thumb again, as she ran down the road to the catacombs, afraid she would miss them before she had to leave Rome?

Writing prompt: Write about someone who transgressed your boundaries.

Copyright (c) 2015 by Laura Deutsch