July 12, 2005
I remember this weekend with my Mom. We went to housesit for a friend who lives in the woods near Northfield. I invited her because I know she loves the place,and I thought it would be a place for her to relax.
Neither one of us have ever suggested that we spend time together like this. We've done the dinner thing, shopping thing, and the movie thing. We like spending time together with groups. We've never deliberately spent an overnight- just the two of us. Sitting with her over dinner, cards, the TV, books (Jon Stewart's America)...I would have never thought that we would get along so well.
I remember that when I was 15 I hated and loved her- two extremes for my extreme teenager-ness. I remember there was nothing either one of us could do right. She must have felt like a failure much of the time- I know I did. The moment of my birth was the first time either of us had been either a mother or a daughter (I'm the eldest). But we are both perfectionists and critical, and we couldn't get the "we" right.
I know this weekend we started further down the path to "we". Once both of our guards were down, we were able to look at each other as caring friends. We saw the funny and the sad stuff. We admired the animals and the view. We watched the birds. When has it ever been acceptable for me to sit and watch birds with my mother? I saw that we think alike, and have similar goofiness. Herb Alpert and the Tijiana Brass. I always considered my sense of humor to be my dad's influence- kind of a goofy, dark and twisted road. But, I think I know now that maybe my Mom had something to do with it.
We didn't really have to try that hard; we just reacted naturally to our own impulses.