Thursday, May 22, 2008


In both senses.

It's just after 11 pm. My Mom just came out of her bedroom to check if I'm not in bed yet. (She did the same thing last night at this time.)

When I got up to use the bathroom at 5:30 am, she popped out of the bedroom to say good morning. She had been waiting to hear me stir. We had plans to meet someone at 9:30 at the train station, so it wasn't like we needed to be up at 5:30 to rush around to get breakfast. And being evil, I went back to bed for a bit.

Let's just say we're on slightly different sleep schedules, and one of us really believes there's a moral rectitude to getting up early.

In the past, I've thought to myself, "never again." But I realized today that I know that's not likely, and that I can't even tell myself that to feel better. So when she was off on a racist tangent with one of my friends, well, I wasn't happy. But I think I've learned to trust that my friends are aware enough to realize that my Mom and I are separate beings, and if my Mom says something, that doesn't mean that I endorse it. So I kept my mouth shut and wanted to think "never again," but couldn't.

I'm trying not to care and counting the days with despair in my very center.

And now I'm going to bed so that I can start again tomorrow at whatever hour.


  1. No matter how wonderful mom may be, a constant presence like that gets to be a bit much...

    I suppose the fact that she's from a very different time zone AND she's been looking forward to this for a long time contributes to her getting up so early -- she's both awake AND she doesn't want to miss anything by sleeping.

    Would she take a suggestion of going out on a solo morning adventure as a helpful suggestion? If it were me, I'd tell mom where she could find a cup of coffee and a newspaper -- and that I'd meet here there about 9am :).

    My family has a mixture of larks and owls -- so this has always been our deal on family vacations... the ones who want to get up early do so with the understanding that the later sleepers will join them after a while...

  2. I hope you find some common ground on which to connect on this visit. She's certainly come a long way to see you, and you've given up a lot of your time for her visit. Hate to see all that precious time used for naught.

    Maybe once you've gotten out of your place into some neutral territory...

    Hang in there and good luck!

  3. Anonymous9:57 AM

    Oh, my. Nothing wise to say here, but I hope things do get better. It is really hard to be with people from the Other Country (of older age), and the more you love them the harder it can be.

  4. I know how hard it is to keep one's mouth shut around her mother. But I'm slowly learning that it is so worth it.

    Just remember--the trip won't last forever!

    Good luck.

  5. Oh. God. You poor poor thing. *Hugs* from someone who believes our mothers must be secretly related :)

    (When I was a teenager, I had to get up at 8am to have time for a leisurely morning routine and to get to school - five minutes walk away - by 9am. My mother would come into my bedroom between 6am and 7am and try to make small talk. If I didn't reply, she'd wander around the room poking into my drawers and reading any papers (or diary) lying around, until I got so nervous that I'd interact with her to stop the privacy invasion!)

  6. Parents are difficult, sometimes. Hopefully this will get better once she's adjusted to the time difference and actually got used to the idea that she's really there with you. :)

  7. Inside, That's a great idea, except the whole coffee and a newspaper thing isn't happening anywhere close.

    TBTAM, Thanks for the encouragement, and for reminding me that she did, indeed, come a LONG way to see me.

    Theodora, Thanks :)

    Poor Charlotte, Good advice, thanks :)

    StyleyGeek, You're right! That sounds like something my Mom would do! They're secret sisters or something!

    MWAK, Thanks for the encouraging words.

  8. i do not know quite what to say. my relationship with my mother was well and truly broken by her criminal behavior toward me, and lots of other stuff -- it is too dangerous psychologically for me to engage with her at any level above christmas cards, but i'm missing having a mother.

    my own children, though, are 19 and almost 21, and both launched themselves toward independence in the last 15 months -- one to his own place, the other beginning college. your post and these comments are helping me think about separation and our evolving parent/child relationships from different [and helpful] viewpoints.

    i've really been trying to step back and let them be the adults they are becoming, to re-write my scripts in the relationships. to be aware there will be times they need a parent's help or suggestions, but not impose my views if they aren't asking. and to not take it personally if they choose things that i don't agree with. this isn't the easiest transition, but i think we are all getting better at it.

  9. please don't feel you have to respond to my last comment. this discussion has been *very* useful to me, though. my sister and i are having a rip-roaring discussion about parenting and many other things. i'm so grateful for your post and the comments.