I came downstairs this morning to wake my mother, and found her standing there, fully dressed, with purse and keys in hand. I’m not going to dwell on my theories about that.
I have mixed emotions about her visit. Of course, I was the one who begged her to come and support me during this busy month of big events for the kids.
Support. That’s a big word. I wanted her to take some responsibility and physically help me with my task list. I wanted her to tell me my efforts were not in vain and that the events came off perfectly. I wanted her to praise me for the job I’m doing raising my kids as a single mom. I wanted to see her, in the flesh, knowing I finally had some representation from my side of the family here.
She did do some of those things, but in many ways, I was left, once again, feeling motherless.
I know I’m not the easiest person to spend time with. I’m a perfectionist, and I’m intolerant, and my ego tells me I’ve outgrown the limits of my Indiana upbringing, so I know I can be a little full of myself, too.
Have you ever been around someone who has a new love, and it’s as if their identity disappears? They no longer use “I” or “me” in their vocabulary, but instead, all conversations are centered around this other person? You’re at the mall finding a quick place to eat, and Sue says, “Oh, John just loves Taco Bell.” Do you care? Is it relevant in any way? Every shopping trip is no longer about her, but she scours the store looking for something to take to John. It’s as though she scooped out her insides and replaced them with John, and you didn’t choose to go shopping with him. I know this pattern extremely well – I’ve been there lots of times. Codependency at its best.
She spoke of my sister in this way. After 11 days together, I heard very little about what my mother thinks and feels, but I sure got an earful about my sister.
Her other stories included tidbits about her close friends – the soap opera characters and any celebrity who happens to be making the latest talk-show circuit or who appears on Entertainment Tonight.
It’s sad. Pathetic isn’t far behind.
Maybe I’m afraid I will be her. Maybe I’m afraid I will give up on life and take a seat in the back of the theatre to watch everyone else live. Maybe I’m afraid I will end up lifeless. Maybe I don’t like to see her aging.
Mom and I did have one “real” conversation about religion, and it started to get a little heated because I have drastically changed my views from those of my childhood, and my mother is entrenched in them still. But at least I got to see her. At least I got to hear her.
I thought about writing this entry in the form of a “daughter” letter, but I don’t know how to do it. I’m so disappointed in my mother, but I don’t know how to be honest about that and not be disrespectful to her.
I realize I need to adjust my expectations. But does a child ever stop wishing to be parented? Eternal hopefulness…
I’m supposed to go out for a visit in June, but I think I will cut the length of my trip just a little, because I’ve had enough for now.