I am struggling with something that I shouldn’t be. This should be easy. This shouldn’t be my problem.
I have (unconsciously) made it my problem. And my grandmother can take some of the blame for this too, but I’ll get there in a second.
My mom, like most parents, gets on my last nerve at times. I have often whispered under my breath or said to myself “you need a man,” “go out and get a life,” or said to her face things like “your identity isn’t just ‘mom;’ there’s more to you than that – go find her again.”
How I want to eat my goddamn words.
How I want to shove my foot down my throat and swallow.
How I wish I could just shut the fuck up for once and mind my own goddamn business.
My advice is bullshit and I take it all back.
She found a man.
She went out and got a life.
She’s found her identity outside of being my mother.
…And I don’t fucking like it at all.
She can stop at any time now.
You proved your point.
Now, come home and watch TV all day with your hair all jacked up with the dogs in your lap.
Come on, quit fucking around.
She’s been dating a guy for the past few months and she seems to really like him a lot and the feeling appears to be mutual. They’ve been spending at least four out of seven days of the week together, going to dinner, movies, sidewalk fairs – stuff like that. Last week she asked me how I’d feel if she spent the night at his place.
OK, maybe I should explain. My parents divorced when I was 5 years old. I never really saw them together. I never really remember them kissing or hugging, being lovey-dovey or any of that shit. My mom didn’t seriously date when I was a kid because she didn’t want me exposed to “uncle” this and “uncle” that – too unstable for a kid. And she watched too much Law and Order: SVU.
So this is all new to me. My mom being touchy-feely with someone, or talking about being touchy-feely, kinda freaks me out. It’s not that I want her to be that way towards my dad (wow yeah no thanks gross), but in general I think I’ve blocked that version of my mom out.
I always joke that my parents are built like Barbie and Ken – not anatomically correct, just smooth plastic where their parts were supposed to be. I think by erasing any part of their being, I’ve been able to turn a blind eye to their humanity – their fallibility and imperfections. I complain that my mother has these ridiculous standards for people but I hold her to this ideal that she should only be my mother and not have her own life. I thought she was the only one attached to our relationship.
I was raised by my grandmother to take care of her and I see her growing, learning to trust again. I’m proud of her and scared – for her and for me.