Somewhere along my forage throughout the house for some casual, non-academic readings that have been denied my time for the whole school year, I saw “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” lying on a bedroom table. I realized that it is my mom’s, but the momentary confusion and incredulity lingered: really? Mom reads this? Really?
It turns out that she does. It also turns out that I was troubled for a good reason. For years, my parents were, well, Parents, and I their Child, with an invisible but well-understood and -respected line in between. Each had his own world, with his own reigning concern and mode of thinking. And suddenly, today, I found my mom and I being both interested in one same book, and out of all possible things, a book on relationships!
Seems like my world has been inching closely toward my parents’ all along. The shock that hit me came out of the realization of a eluding obvious.
This revelation jolted me backward in time, into a dinner conversation with mom when I was in 11th grade. For some reasons she started talking about relationships, advising me (or, in hindsight, just sharing, perhaps?) that the one we love most is not often the one that stays. Overtly I responded with silence. But inside I was annoyed by my mom’s presumptuousness in telling me about what to do in relationships. I was mentally smirking:
– Mom, what do you know about love? Geez.
That’s how the 16-year-old me, who had had but a few love poems and occasional sleepless nights, judged a woman that had been nurturing a family for years!
I now know that happened because at the time I was adamantly convinced that mom and I lived in parallel universes, and that because I know so much about love (sarcasm intended), she must know nothing. Deep inside I was haughtily dismissing her talk as nonsense. But I did so, because deeper inside, I was insecurely shuddering at the fact that her world and mine were to become uncomfortably close.
Today, after so many adolescent frolics and self-absorption (which I admittedly cannot totally disclaim just yet), the two worlds have become closer. And, well, somewhat more comfortably so.
– Mom, what do you know about love?
Excuse my redundancy, but really, the great irony just never fails to amaze me.