Mom and dad are People too

I’ve recently entered ‘the real world’. I still feel like I’m only in the doorway, though. I’m discovering more and more, each discovery coming in the form of an odd-timed epiphany.

The reason I say that involves: me. I’m a rebellious-like teenager who is still bent on tap-dancing on ‘the line’ of my parents’ nerves. It’s not uncommon for me to blurt out:

“We’re nothing alike.” especially when I’m discussing my mom. Every time I say that, I quickly think of a few points of comparison between her and I.

I like black, she likes…oh, well black too, but I think she prefers brown.

I’m eclectic in music preferences and she likes…country. Old or modern, though?

I’m the sit-inside-and-watch-the-rain person, she’s the…addicted-to-mowing-type-person?

I’m more introverted, she’s…a mom? Who is she?

I was having a great discussion with my father (rare moment) about my mom when it hit me:

I don’t really know who she is.

Well first, I know her as my mom. She’ll always be a mom. Even to people she’s not related to. She’s just got that maternal-vibe.

But beyond that…I only know bits and pieces.

She likes cows. She loves steak. Loves thick socks. Dislikes Gardner snakes. Watches the races and folds laundry on Sundays. Owned horses as a child. Was accident-prone. First to fire in an argument.

So, bits and pieces.

But I don’t know who she is as a person.

I’ve been so focused on trying to learn who I am the past few years of my life, I’ve just become more distant from the person I’m 50% of.

The other 50%: I only met my father 5 years ago (parents divorced when I was an infant). We began talking on the phone, I asking him questions I’d ask anyone when trying to learn who they were.  You know, the “What’s your favorite…” and the “What do you think of…” questions. When I got to see him, I’d see what kind of person he was as a person, and a father. We get along well! I know him as an easy-going guy who is protective of his family and loves a good prank. Loves cooking, the Sci-fi channel, and can do a great Arnold Shwarzenegger impression.

I admit, he and I don’t know much about each other still. But we’re trying.

However, I still don’t know who my parents are as people.

All of our parents were people before we and our siblings were born. But eventually, Barb, Jim, Diane, Robert, Susan, Kyle, whatever your parents’ names are, become

Mom and Dad.

Sometimes they even start out as Mommy and Daddy.

But piece by piece they put away the explorers, rockers, mountain climbers, painters, etc, and become the soccer moms, the parents helping host the 3-rd grade Halloween party, the science-fair project ‘helpers’. They become the providers. They care for us, plan for us, think for us, even. They protect us and love us, even when we yell that we hate them. They’re always the one we call from the police station, the ones we mouth ‘hi’ to when we get on television, they’re the ones we glance back for when we board the school bus, jump into the car heading to college for, and the first we call when the baby won’t stop crying and the car isn’t working but the engine light isn’t on.

They’re always mom and dad.

But when do we look to know them as people? Real people?!

I hope it’s not like in the movies: when we’re cleaning out their storage unit, going through piles of pictures and discovering the amazing people our parents were before we came along….after their funeral.

I’ve filed it down to the reason of why my mom and I can’t get along much these days. I’m sure if I knew her, as a person, we’d get along better. I’m sure it’d make shopping for her easier, too.

But it sincerely bothers me that I don’t know her as a person. I know when I return home (I’m on vacation  at my father’s place) I’ll present my discovery to her. Now, I’m not hoping for a tear-filled reunion fit for Lifetime Network, but I hope we have what all those TV programs have dubbed “a break through”.

(Sappy ‘wrap up at the end’ with a warm-fuzzy feeling time)

I’ll still call her Mom and him Dad. I always will. But I really hope I can learn who they really are beyond that, as Mel and Steven

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~ by sider13 on July 2, 2011.

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