After the previous day’s conflict with my mom, I wasn’t sure where we’d go from there. (And I inadvertently pissed her off or hurt her again, so I’m back in the same position.)
She explained a lot about why she didn’t attend my kid’s Chuck E Cheese party, which wasn’t for any of the reasons I assumed, but was for a very understandable reason. She said I also completely misunderstood the need for 3 separate birthday parties in the same week but was sorry that the misunderstanding left me feeling so resentful for so long and that she didn’t know how hard it was for me to have them.
And she admitted that my dad was indeed reacting very weirdly when I told them about my pregnancy, which had to do with a family secret they didn’t tell me about until days before I gave birth. And she told me that I can talk to her about how I feel about losing J, but it just makes her feel helpless and she doesn’t know the right things to say.
So all is well on that front, minus what I’ve said to her now, which still has to be repaired. But really, I have to give her a lot of credit, especially due to her age. J’s mom is around the same age and is so far gone that she’s completely unreachable. My mom is at least trying, even if she’s being dragged along somewhat unwillingly by her therapy-promoting daughter. 😉 And I have to say that I know that takes a lot of guts and I’m very proud of her.
Interestingly, though, J brought up something that I think is a likely point: that my mom probably also has the same neurological illness that I do but doesn’t know it because my hometown doctors suck so bad that they’ve never found it. A lot of her symptoms are similar to mine but she takes a completely different approach to dealing with them than I do.
I mentioned that my youngest recently went to New Mexico and she said she’s always wanted to go there but has resigned herself to the fact that at age 67, she’s now “too old” and it will never happen.
She also said that my dad wants to take another solo road trip cross-country again and she can’t convince him that he’s too old and thinks he’s delusional. He’s 5 years older than her and he bikes 2-5 miles almost every day. If he doesn’t feel that he’s too old, I’d say that he can make that decision for himself. I know that my grandparents were in their 70s when they road-tripped to Texas to see me back in the late 90s.
I guess I’m somewhere in between my parents in terms of how I feel, though I am admittedly 20 years younger than my mom. Like my mom, I get tired easily and need a lot of rest. And I’m certainly not doing the equivalent of biking 2-5 miles a day but I really need to start, just for my health.
But while I’m easily tired and tend to be kind of a homebody, I also fully understand my dad’s desire for adventure and unwillingness to see himself as old. Sadly, I think he’s likely to outlive my mom, like his father outlived my grandma.
I have immense respect for my mom’s willingness to try to help me repair the past, even if she doesn’t seem to be on a journey of personal growth otherwise. And I have immense respect for the fact that both of my parents are so open-minded and accepting of my transgender kids.
But I think I’m going to try to adopt my dad’s outlook on life, which in many ways is similar to J’s and my youngest son’s. They’re not about holding grudges and are good about accepting people where they are, which I still struggle with sometimes.
And I certainly don’t want to follow in my mom’s footsteps of feeling like I’m too old or too sick for new adventures. Yes, I still rest a lot, but I also routinely try to push past my limits. I think that as long as I keep that mindset, it will keep me from getting too old prematurely.