Adult children can be taxing sometimes. I was just talking to my friend, Kathy, about her Mothers’ Day and how difficult it was for her. Her daughter has her own agenda so she began the afternoon dinner with: “I can’t stay long. I have work to do.” This after Kathy, who has a respiratory illness that sounds like she is ready to expire; this after shecooked dinner for her family, which includes her husband, her father-in-law, her son-in-law, the two grandchildren – one who is autistic – and her son-in-law’s brother. Why should she cook the dinner when she is sick and it’s her special day to relax? Who’s day is this anyway?
There wasn’t much relaxation going with with her daughter’s comings and goings and errands and drop-offs of the kids. The final cap on the day was that her autistic grandson refused to sit down at the table and eat and her granddaughter got up from the table without eating, roamed around the dining room hiding under curtains and tables and declared that she was bored and wanted to go home. End of dinner. End of day. Back to bed and no yoga today for Kathy because she is too sick to get out of bed. And she is so very sad about what happened to her mother’s day.
Sometimes we ask: where is the honor, where is the respect, where is the cherishing from our adult children. I had no dinner to prepare, no flowers to look at and no company. I was sad but resigned. And Kathy was sad but resigned, too, the Monday after. Sometimes we can expect the unexpected.
In my world, I didn’t have the time or money to fly to Las Vegas to be a part of my ex-husband’s Mother’s Day lunch for the family. I’m going for a visit in June. I got calls from my sons, and I got to speak to my adorable grandsons. And I was very sad about the loss of my mother. It was the first year that she has been gone from my life. I always used to send her pears from Harry and David and some yellow roses.
I didn’t know where to put all this emotion. So, like my therapist told me, I just sat with my emotions, experienced them, and went to bed to read the last chapter of Michael Lewis’s The Big Short and got more sad. But that sadness was about the state of our country and the amazing rip-offs by Wall Street. That’s a topic for another blog.
I received two cards in the mail today: one from my oldest son and daughter-in-law and one from my grandsons. It was a day late. Mother’s Day was over for me. While I appreciated the sentiments, I felt oddly detached.
We often expect too much. We often have unrealistic expectations. We often experience struggle that is of our own making. It’s challenging to remember that our happiness is of our own making. We want our happiness to be the responsibility of others.
The curve balls we get in life give us the opportunity to rebalance. The ego tells us we “deserve” and the id tells us to “expect” and the superego tells us we “deserve more.” It’s all out of wack. Who’s on first?
Our joy comes from self-love, self-respect and self-worth. It’s not so complicated and yet it is so complicated.