Just chatting on the phone, on the porch, just now, a little birdie landed on the tree. I said, “quick, it has black wings with white speckles, a black head and red spots above its ears.”
(secretly, I don’t know where birds’ ears are, but it was where my ears would be if I was a bird)
And she said, “it could be a woodpecker?”
So I looked back and, indeed, just at that moment, it began to peck. I’ve never seen a woodpecker before! I think it was this type, a Hairy Woodpecker, but there is a Downy Woodpecker that looks quite similar, just a bit smaller and fluffier.
We really REALLY have to get a bird-identification book. My mother has one, it turns out, so we will borrow that. Naomi has been asking me bird-names, because I tell her all the flower-names, and so now she knows that everything has its own name.
(Why oh why do I teach them stuff? Some lazy days, I think it would be easier to not know the flowers, just like I don’t know the birds…)
How did my mother know? Does she know everything? That sense of childlike awe, thinking my mother knows everything, really floods back so, so easily even now that I realize she probably doesn’t.
She does know everything about where to shop. She is the best shopper. Whatever you need – she knows a specialty store where you can get the best WHATEVER at the best PRICE. (though sometimes, if it’s the best, the best price is a high one)
I once happened upon a really cool store on Queen West that sold only ribbon: Mokuba. Every kind of ribbon, from grosgrain to Swiss hand-embroidered tapestry ribbon… all very expensive. I was in awe that there was a ribbon STORE. It’s so nicely laid out, all artistic. And then one day, a couple of weeks later, she mentioned she needed some ribbon to finish a sweater… guess where she was going?
Anything is like that. Any weird specialty item, anything you need to buy, no matter how offbeat, she’ll have a suggestion where you can get it, no problem. There are probably limits to this knowledge, but I prefer not to test them.
I prefer to sometimes still believe my mother really does know everything.