― Adrianna Stepiano
It makes no difference what age we are, if our parents are upset with us we feel like we are twelve again. My Mother is seldom mad at me, I simply do nothing to bother her at this stage of life and I think it's fair to say that we get along nicely and Im happy to help her traverse the difficult reality of aging.
In fact, I do a lot for her which is my nature and it gives me great pleasure as well. I was raised in a close family and my family values and where I place the respect for my parents is high up on the pedestal.
They have given me a wonderful life, filled with opportunity and love. It is simply my time to give back which I do so lovingly.
This past Saturday, I invited my Mother over to color eggs with Giavanna and for dinner. I had a busy day with many errands and running around to do.
I also had an appointment for 3:00 pm which I anticipated ending at 4:00 pm thus ready for my Mother's 4:30 arrival. As it turns out my appointment was at 3:30 pm and it didn't end at 4:30 but rather at 5:30 which meant I arrived home at 5:45 pm.
My cell phone had rung twice, I answered it once assuring all that I would arrive home soon. My Mother was with Christopher and Giavanna was home with her friends. What is better than spending time with your Grandchildren on a sunny Saturday afternoon. It didn't occur to me how much I had irritated my Mother by my tardiness.
If you know my Mother, she is small in stature and rather demure, always polite and rather formal. Do not however make her angry as it will take awhile to get back in her good graces. I had forgotten about this trait until I called to say I was on my way- " I will be right home- Im sorry Im late"- She quickly replied- "it's the day before Easter, you should not have booked an appointment."
Okay, there in lies the conflict. If my mind I thought- does my Mother have any idea what my life is like? I instantly became irritated. I don't have the flexibility that she does. I don't have free time in which I can disappear and not be accounted for. I wondered how she could even say that to me. It made me feel an instant disconnect- a sense that she did not appreciate all that I do for my family, for her. I was slightly hurt.
As I raced home, with groceries in my trunk- I had the sense that I was coming home late from a party and I was still living at home.
I sped home and raced into the house to my Mother who was clearly not happy. I quickly poured her and myself a glass of white wine- she declined it.
I insisted thinking it would take the edge off. I was wrong. She watched every move in silence with a few interruptions. " You do too much", You should not have invited me over if you were not going to be home, You should not be running around at this hour and it continued.
Did she think I was having cocktails with friends, does she think I enjoy running from Tumbling lessons to the grocery store and then to the dry cleaners to pick up Christopher's blazer for Easter. Standing in line at the bakery to pick up her favorite type of Easter pie and stopping at the pet store to get food for Achilles.
Oh yes, while it was great fun for me- I did nothing for myself during this time frame and I was hardly having cocktails with friends. Did she not remember this stage of life or was it simpler for her, I know it was as she had my Father but again- perhaps she was just in a really agitated mood.
It happens to the best of us so I decided to not be angry. I tried to joke around with her as I quickly prepared dinner.
The night was awkward and I couldn't believe she continued to be upset with me. Again, I tried to ignore it and press on as if all was okay. Inside I was getting mad with the idea that she was annoyed with me because I was late. Had she no recollection of all that I do for her, I just couldn't wrap my head around it so I stopped worrying about it. She went home and while I was bothered tried not to think about it.
She called when she arrived home and left a voice mail. I didn't listen to it, I knew she was home safely however could not bear the tone of disapproval.
We had a wonderful Easter. Everyone was happy and it was a beautiful day. She was no longer upset with me and life as normal resumed. I didn't think twice about the day prior until last night. I got home and my voicemail box was filled.
I listened to all of my messages and lastly to the one my Mother had left the day before. Lo and Behold, it was an apology and a message that said she loved me. I got it a dat late. I thought to myself- this would have been better to hear yesterday and then it dawn on me. I didn't need to hear something that I already knew. My Mother shows her love daily in many ways and it is not the same manner in which I express love. Im similar to my Father who was always happy, affection and exuberant.
My Mother is different, her love comes in actions and in giving and that is where she is generous and exudes love.
We are all different, we must appreciate the differences of our parents and their generation and accept them.
It can be difficult as we are all children at the basic level. Often we expect our parents to be like us, or should I say to give us the things we yearn for.
They have their limitations. Learn about your parents backgrounds and experiences. Instead of seeking what you will not find, try to understand the experiences that make them who they are.
Accept what they have to give you in whatever form it may come. Honor your Mother and Father and respect them. As my Grandfather always told me. "You only have one Mother and one Father." Advice I did not need to hear more than once. xo