It occurs to me more and more, as my kids get older and leave home and go off to become people in their own right, that I am becoming the parents in their stories just like my parents are people in mine. Uncomfortable, but inevitable.
All of us have stories about our parents — the annoying mother who can’t let you come within 500 miles of her house without demanding a visit. The acquisitive mother who’s inherited all the chattel from two sets of parents and can’t bear to give any of it away now while it might be of any use to her own children. The bad mother who told her daughter she’d never be a concert pianist and also retreated to her room after dinner to read the Saturday Evening Post and ignored her children. The father who never liked one thing you did. The mother who allowed herself to be a doormat. The father who insists on talking to you at least once a day.
It’s a hard line to walk, though — I don’t want to be the mother who couldn’t let her children go, nor do I want to be the mother who completely forgot about her children once they left the house. I don’t want to be the mother with no interests of her own, nor do I want to be the mother with no interest in her children. Particularly this week, when I’m feeling inadequately vacationed, I don’t want to be the parents who could never take a vacation without their children. I’m going to have to talk to K about this one —