Hi Mom, I’m Here To Interview You

There’s a game going on on Facebook right now. You “like” someone’s status, and they give you a year to reminisce about. But when the year 2003 popped up, I realized just how bad my mom brain is. . . I could barely remember what happened that year. So I decided it was time to revisit my columns from way back when. The Inside Outs that have taken readers of the Sullivan County Democrat on adventures with me ARE my stories of the years gone by. 

Here’s one from May 2003!  

Mother’s Day has come and gone, once again. And I have to say, there are some pretty great moms out there.  Now that I’ve hit my 20s, I realize that.

As a typical daughter, I spent most of the prior decade in a constant battle with that lady who spent 28 hours in a birthing room bringing me into this world.  But it took a story I wrote for this newspaper to put a lot of my life, and that of my mother, into perspective.

Traditionally, we accept nomination forms from the public for the business and professional women’s issue
we run each November.  I didn’t play a part in the nomination process, I swear. But when I sat down at our planning session to help sift through the mountain of nomination forms, there was Nancy Eschenberg, my mom, right atop the list.

A nurse practitioner at two doctors’ offices in the county, her caring and concerned attitude must have
struck a chord with someone. Of course, I volunteered to do the story. After a brief discussion, my editor and publisher agreed – after all, I obviously knew the most about this particular subject, and I had the perfect in to get some good information and quotes.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I felt sort of silly calling my mom on the phone at work and saying, hey, we need to set up a time to meet. Usually I just swing by her office when I’m in the Liberty or Monticello area and hang out with the nurses and receptionists until she’s done with her patients.

It was both the easiest and hardest interview I’ve ever done.

At times, I caught myself writing down what I knew she meant to say instead of what she actually said. Other times I found myself listening raptly to stories I’d never heard before – and not jotting a word of it down!
I found out my mother was as idealistic at my age as she says I am today. She wanted to help people – a mission that took her through nursing school, onto the skilled nursing unit at Community General Hospital and
later, as a mom of two, commuting several hours to SUNY Binghamton several nights a week to obtain her
master’s degree and become a nurse practitioner.

I interviewed my mom to find a whole new person behind the lady who spanked my bottom when I was bad and stayed up until the wee hours of the morning painstakingly slicing orange slices just so I could have an orange birthday cake.

No longer was she just the lady who made me the much-coveted freckles with her brown eyeliner pencil, but a woman who has become a hero to moms and dads who’ve told me on the street that she “saved” their child.

Now, I share my mom with hundreds of kids throughout Sullivan County – even some who have christened her “Dr. Mom.” But I’m still the one who gets to say, “I love you” on Mother’s Day.

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