Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I'm a rebel!

Last night I watched a History Channel show about the hippies. It explained their reasons for many of the things they did as rebellion against the expectations of their parents in order to find a more fulfilling life. Really.

Now, with that line of reasoning, I must be a rebel too! I'm living my life completely against all the expectations set out for me by my mother and her family. I was supposed to get a college degree, use it in a professional career, and maybe get married sometime in my late twenties. One kid, maybe two would be ok with them.

Oops, I guess I fell off the prescribed path somewhere. And most days I couldn't be happier about that. I love being a wife and stay at home mom. I think I'm pretty good at it, too. But there are times when that happiness feels a little thorny, a little less than perfect. Usually my mother is involved when I feel that way.

She called me to get my email address, and I decided to tell her I'm pregnant. There would never be a good time to tell her, and I was tired of dreading it. So I told her, "I have some news I need to tell you. I don't expect you to be happy for me about it. I'm pregnant again." She said, "Why?" and then at my stunned silence, "Was it (in horror) on purpose?" There are so many things I could have said, should have said to those two questions. But I didn't. I knew that there really was no point. I just said, "Yes, it was on purpose." She gave a great big sigh, and stated, "Well, it's going to be a hell of a lot harder when you're abandoned with four children to take care of than three. Didn't we talk about this last week?" (this was a reference to a tirade about the evils of men, how they always abandon you in the end, culminating in her announcement that my stepdad is leaving her.)

I let her lecture me on my lack of value as a human being because of my lack of skills in the workplace, until she realised that I wasn't bawling on the floor like she'd hoped. Used to be that a sharp word from her would send me into hysterics. This time, I stayed calm, at least outwardly. Inside I was raging at her, pitying her, wishing I could understand what made her so bitter. She finally gave up, said bye and hung up. I gathered my kids to me and told them that I love them no matter what, and that all I want for them when they grow up is happiness. They looked at me like I'd lost my mind, but I felt better. I'm just going to keep telling them and showing them, and hopefully I won't screw up too much along way.

Aren't I rebellious?


Lynn Marie said...

My mother was very much like yours. Many years ago she was dying an I was taking care of her. After her death, my daughter looked at me and said."Gradma was not a very good grandma and she was not a good mom to you - but YOU were a good daughter to her and a great mom to me." I cried over that! It made my heart glad. You are not responsible for the kind of mother you have, only for the kind of daughter she has. You are not responsible for the kind of grandmother your children have, only for the kind of mother your children have. Don't let her dump guilt on you.

Vida said...

Thank you, Lynn Marie. It's a struggle, but you are so very right.