Thursday, January 24, 2013

Making an Effort

Sometimes my heart just aches.
It aches for things I can never have. I have been blessed with children, so I do not know the ache of a mother's empty womb or the loss of a child.
I know the sting of rejection and every year around this time it rears it's ugly head.
When I think about it, it starts around this time and usually goes on into the spring.
I grew up feeling rejected by my family.
My parents divorced and as an adult I can see the life changing event it is for an adult that has to pick up the peices and start a new life. Where as a child, it is still life-changing, but we only must go along for the ride...we are not in charge of the big decsions and money.
Aging has given me prospective in that way. But it has also left my inner child scarred and introverted.
Last night at dinner my daughter asked me; "Mom what did you want to be when you grew up?"
I wasn't quite sure what she was looking for, because there are the things you dream about being, or think you want to be and then as you get older and realize you really do need a career or way of earning money and what does that mean to you and what would you want to do for that.
I think that telling a kid they can be anything they want is dishonest. Or "You can do anything you set your mind to."
There is some truth to the last should read...You can do anything God tells you can do.
Because it is not up to us, and no matter how hard we work at it, if it is not God's will...well then it just won't happen.
So I asked her; "What do you mean? What did I want to do for work? or what did I once dream I wanted to be?"
Both kids in unison said; "Dreamed of!"
I answered; "I wanted to be a star on Broadway. I loved singing and dancing around when I was little. I would spend hours daydreaming about winning the Oscars and Tonys. I was always singing in my bedroom with my little microphone."
Yes, I had a toy one that came with a speaker system! it was AWESOME!
My kids looked at me surprised and awed.
my sweet son asked; "Well Mom why didn't you?"
Why didn't I?
Well I lived in Minnesota...who looks for talent in Minnesota?
When I was in 8th grade I hated my choir teacher so much I quit choir for the rest of my schooling, even when I changed schools, he ruined it for me.
When I was a teenager and talking about doing pageants (because that is what I was raised around) My dad said to me; "And what will you do for talent?"
OUCH! Yeah, that stung.
So I went the other route and ran for some local city festival pageants where the queen & her princesses ride in parades and represents their festival talent or swimsuits required.
I heard good things all through out process, and then I wasn't chosen. Turned out My dad was picked to be King that year in a rival group and they thought my loyalties would be divided. I ran again the following year only to hear that I was now labeled a "groupie" because my dad was king and I went to some parades as a family member of the krewe...
It broke my heart. Every year in the month of January I think of being a contestant and what it had meant to me, and how badly I wanted to be apart of that "team".
I did my very best, and it still didn't turn out the way I wanted it.

Becoming a mother has been the best and most eye opening thing for me. I love my kids like I've never loved anything before. I also feel the sting of how other's love their children. I'm talking about my parents. There are just things I don't understand, like how they can go about their lives and not want to call or talk or spend time with their child? (unless it's a holiday then, they want priority)
How do they not want to be involved in our daily lives? Or the lives of their grand kids?
I took my mother in for a colonoscopy two weeks ago. She wanted to take me to lunch afterward, which I thought would be a bad idea. Luckily, it ran long and the nurse told her many times in recovery to take it slow with eating and she should just go home and rest...Mother kept saying she was fine, she was fine.
I finally said, I think we should reschedule it, I'm not feeling hungry after listening to you release gas!"
For her it was a "payback" of sorts, she couldn't really pay me for taking her, so she would pay me with taking me to lunch, that way she wouldn't feel like she "owed" me something.
(Yes, this IS the way she thinks. she gets angry if we pay for her lunch or dinner...)
She likes to pay her OWN way.
She robs others of there joy of doing kindness, because she just can't except that there is no strings attached. (Her life issue)
Anyway, I've been trying to find a day that works. She is terribly busy. Lunch with these ladies, cleaning this or that in her house...It makes me wonder; How come you aren't putting your child first. Why does family slip to the bottom of that to-do list.
Who will be the one to care for you and cook for you and clean for you when you can no longer do those things for yourself?
I will.
Because that is what families are suppose to do.
They are suppose to do things with and for each other.
It makes me feel unloved.
I feel like she thinks we (as in my sister and I) are just circling her like vultures ready to pick her remains clean. No really, I FEEL like that is what she thinks. My sister has given her good reason to think that way...but I have told her time and time again...I want TIME, I just want time with HER.
She isn't leaving behind some massive amount of inheritance, the thing I will inherit more of is sadness, that I was never able to connect with her or build a good relationship, because she always kept her guard up and pushed me away and saw things for her view only.
My mom will be 72 years old this February. Every year things get weird with her around this time. (my birthday is in March) it's like an unconscious decision to spike up the coldness and give a good ol push away from me. (It's documented in journals) She gets squirrely.
I seems the harder I try to know her, the nastier she can get.
So I know that my experience with my mother/father is nothing like what my children have.
Thank you GOD.
But they think why NOT?
Why couldn't I?
If my son had to answer that he would say "Hockey player for the MN Wild AND an actor."
If my daughter answered that it would be "teacher".
I also wanted to be a teacher when I was little, but I liked babies more so I became a nanny instead...mostly so I could get a jump stat on being a "mom".
Do you know my mom has actually said: "I always wanted to be a mom."
And I have no idea what she means by that, because for me, it means being with my kids, knowing them, sharing my life with them. Days get long when they are in school and I am home. I miss their chatter and laughter, I don't miss the bickering that comes with spending too much time together...
Right now, my dream is to be a home owner again, in a nice neighborhood, with some great neighbors and a fenced in yard for my dog to patrol. I dream of family vacations together, doing new things together. I dream of watching my husband succeed in his career. I dream of writing and publishing a fictional book.
I never thought of writing as a kid or even as a young adult. It's only in my 30's that that little dream has come up.
So I am making an effort to write more and read more to stir the imagination.
I am making an effort to be more present for my kids and know them.
I will continue to make an effort to know my mother on a more deep level.
And I will continue to try and resist to urge to linger over past failures.

1 comment:

  1. What a great post and something to think about. What do we want to be when we grow up? Are we disappointed when our childhood dreams fade? How do we adjust to life, especially when life for everyone is anything but calm?

    Good questions to prep me for when my daughter asks them to me.


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