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Parents

April 22, 2012

November 19th, 2011 12:56am

I sometimes wonder how my parents were when they were my age; it is during these times that my attention often directs itself towards my mother. I often wish that I could be like the guy in “It’s a Wonderful Life” and see where life would be if I were never born. How would my mother’s life be affected? What was it even like before I was born? Was she like me growing up? Did she like the same things I like? Did she have bigs dreams like I do now?

Whenever my mother and I “fight” (and I put that in quotation marks because we never usually fight, it’s usually her going off about something, and me nodding along), it always seems as though she could never understand me. But maybe the problem of  “lack of understanding” stems from my inability to open up to her. Some might ask, well, why won’t you just open up to her then? Tell her how your feel. But that’s easier said than done. I guess this comes from some sort of attachment problem. I don’t know, it’s all so complicated – almost like an entangled relationship, but one harder to get out of.

After each fight we have (remember, I call them “fights”, but they’re more like lectures that upset me), I always become maddened at the fact that I am unable to articulate my thoughts and feelings. It’s always the day after that I come up with great comebacks, always. But hey, what can I do? Nothing, because I guess it’s in my nature to be nice and just to take things in.

But things were a lot better tonight; I think it was all because of my father (who’s really my step-father, but he’s been there through so much that he is my father). My father – oh how I do love him so much. Because he is not my biological father, I feel as though I experience a whole ‘nother kind of love for him. I appreciate every thing that he has done for me and I know that this supreme unconditional love that I have for him is returned. He understands me so much more than my mother does that I think it makes her sad to see that I get along so much more with him. It was my father who picked up the phone tonight, and it was he who broke the tension from last night. We talked about loads of stuff – from “how’s school?” to “the new Michael Buble CD is very good”, to “so, how’s your roommate situation?”, ending on a detailed explanation of the Philosophy of Buddhism. I was so grateful for this conversation; like my mother says, I’m my father’s daughter. During the course of this phone call, he told me many wonderful things about Buddhism, but I won’t speak about them here as this is not the point of this post. I love how I can just speak to him as an equal, but of course, I still love it when he refers to himself in the third person as “daddy”.

After speaking to him, my mother came on the phone, and I felt as though things were better. She sounded more understanding, or at least, she tried to sound more understanding. I filled her in on all of the strikes happening at school and she, of course, being the worrisome mother she is, told me to stay away from those areas when big riots/strikes are going on. “Mother,” I told her, “Please, I know when to stay away”. “I know, but being a mother, I worry, and I feel this need to warn you about these things”, she responded. I told her that she needn’t worry because I have a good head on my shoulders. I told her how the Doctor I’m working with said to me that I act older than I actually am. She didn’t have much of a response to that. I feel that she must know this, but I’m not exactly quite sure if she does – but surely she must know that I’m not exactly like all the other people my age. For goodness sake, hearing a swear word come out of my mouth is rare, seeing me at a night club is just an illusory image that you have conjured up in your head, and imagining me mad is virtually impossible (or so it has been said). I am the type of “young adult female” who loves wearing old “grandma” cardigans; who enjoys coffee and teas; who listens to the radio, classical music, and 90s music – the type of girl who calls going to watch the symphony orchestra play at RTH, “going to see a concert”; I am just that type of girl. I wonder if my mom sees that, but more importantly, I wonder if she truly understands that. I wish we could just have a heart-to-heart talk. I want to make her understand me, and I want her to make me understand her.

Parents are funny people; even the notion of “parenting” is a funny thing. I most often go to the gym in the mornings and whenever I am on the elliptical machine, the TLC channel is always on the tele. There’s always this show that comes on, and let me tell you, it is horrific to watch a woman give birth while you are exercising – and this is coming from a female; imagine how weird it would be a guy! Anyway, I remember this one time I was watching it and honestly, I just had this utter look of shock on my face. But then the baby came into the world and I saw the look of complete happiness on the parents’ faces, and that was when it really hit me. It must be such a wonderful feeling, to be a parent, I mean. That moment when your baby first comes into the world, and you are holding him/her for the very first time, that must be one of the most wonderful feelings in the world. Realizing that really made me miss my parents. It made me miss them, but at the same time, feel disappointed. I wondered, then, if I had ever disappointed them. That was when it made me very sad. I never want to disappoint my parents, in fact, it is my biggest fear – just disappointing those I care about so much. I never want to disappoint anybody because I think it’s really the most awful feeling in the world. Not to be heartbroken, not to be lied to, but really, the feeling of disappointment is the worst of all.

Maybe that’s why I feel this intense need to harbour so much within me. Maybe this is why I feel the need to keep my mom out of the loop, to unconsciously, but intentionally (if that even makes sense) sabotage our relationship so that she would never have that feeling of disappointment. I love my mother so so very much. And likewise, I love my father so so very much (and of course my brother too). I want to protect them, and through my shrewd way of thinking, I have somehow ended up at the conclusion that I can protect them from being disappointed.

But those who are close to me have told me that this is the wrong way to go about it. I shouldn’t feel this need to protect people, it’s not my responsibility, it’s not my problem. But it is my problem, and I do feel this need to protect people. It’s just in my nature – it’s really just who I am. And maybe things won’t get better with my mom. And maybe I can never stop trying to “protect people”. But it’s like my dad said tonight on the phone, “You shouldn’t be sad. Because in order to know what it’s like to be happy, you need to know what it’s like to be sad”.

And that is all that I have to say about that. I love you parents.

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