I am 27 years old, the daughter of a funny man and a serious woman. I feel like i've gained so much from each of my parents through the years. A love for laughter, a disability to trust adults, how to give time and energy, and how to cook; Learning the difference between right and wrong, learning to survive, learning how manage a busy schedule, and learning how to love unconditionally. It's amazing how different my parents are. And I'm so thankful for that. Because I get this great mix of the two where I learn both ends of the spectrum. It's amazing to me the different roles I have learned to play through the years. A puppet for my brother, a leader and antagonizer to my sister, an audience for my father, and a therapist to my mother. I've grown up in the crazy hemisphere of an awkward and painful divorce. I've watched my brother lose faith, my sister lose the opportunity for a great education. Don't get me wrong, I've seen great things as well, but when divorce splits your family, it's so much easier to notice the wreckage...because the rebuilding takes so long and depends on the nature and demeanor of each party involved.
Take for instance the fact that my mother and stepmother almost had it out when I was in the hospital having kidney surgery. I was minutes away from going 'under the knife' and my mom decides to take a jab at my father and stepmother who are in the room. This led to raised voices, and harsh words, and an almost fight. All the while, I'm laying in pain on a hospital stretcher with IVs running through my veins and with a weak voice, settling for yelling in my mind: ARE YOU GUYS KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?
I've had so many moments like this in my life. And always I'm asking the same question: SERIOUSLY GUYS? ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?
And actually, I just got a call from my mom tonight. This is always a love/hate thing. Because she calls me...to talk about my brother and sister. I don't think I've actually heard her ask me how my day is going without me saying how it's going and then her jumping right into a discussion about how much she hates my sister's boyfriend or how my brother or sister lied to her or something or other that I can do absolutely nothing about. So I missed her call, and called her back. And it started out the way they always start out:
me: hey. sorry i missed your call.
mom: yeah i called. (while sounding upset)
me: oh. well is everything okay?
mom: yeah. i guess. (still sounding upset, taking a sighing breath) no. maybe not.
me: oh. okay. are you alright?
mom: well...it's just... your sister made me mad today.
me: oh. i see. okay. are you gonna be okay?
mom: yeah..it's just that she blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah....Jaime did .....blah blah blah blah...and he blah blah blah blah....and she has to pay blah blah blah blah blah because he convinced her to blah blah blah blah...
me: well mom. you know, she's a grown girl and she makes her own decisions. And if that's what she wants to do, you do your best to give her a way out, and then let it go.
mom: i know. i should let it go. but she blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah... and he says I shouldn't tell him what to do... blah blah blah...
me: then don't tell him what to do.
mom: yeah you're right. i just hate that he blah blah blah blah blah... and your sister misses you...
me: she misses me?
mom: yeah. she misses you.
me: why does she miss me?
mom: well so you can watch the kids for her.
me: oh. so she misses me because she wants me to be a babysitter?
mom: well it's just so hard for her right now.
me: oh. okay. well, i'm sorry she misses me. But i'm not moving back.
mom: you're so far away.
me: i know. but it's not like we were close when i WAS living there. I don't understand why it's a big deal now. I mean, aside from me being a babysitter. why doesn't she just hire a babysitter?
mom: well because it costs money.
me: yeah. i heard that most babysitters do charge money. hmmm.. well. i'm sorry. but i'm still not moving back.
mom: i know.
me: uh, hey mom. sorry to interrupt, but you DID call me earlier right?
mom: yeah i did.
me: so uh, why DID you call me?
mom: cause i wanted to see how you were doing.
me: well, since you call all the time to ask me how i'm doing, but never really prod any further when I say good, I'll just tell you how i'm doing..blah blah blah blah..and this awesome thing happened.. blah blah blah...and i'm working on this screenplay.. blah blah blah blah.
mom: that's great!
me: yeah, and blah blah blah blah blah...
mom: you know what just makes me so mad about Jaime (my sister's boyfriend) is that he just blah blah blah blah and she just blah blah blah blah.
and she goes on for another 10 minutes rehashing the same problems to me, and i continue to say, "Well if you did all you could, then you did all you could and you just let her choose how she wants to live." This usually ends her saying, "Well. maybe we should just not talk about that." or "Yeah, you're right. But you don't understand...blah blah blah"
PS: yes, i realize i'm a selfish brat. but i really hope that one day: 1. my mom takes my advice and follows through with it. and 2. that my family learns to gain a sense of togetherness that doesn't involve fighting over silly stuff. and 3. that i learn from their mistakes. 4. i will understand my family.