Re-inventing ourselves. Are we inventing something new out of our lives or are we being the parts of ourselves that up till now have not shown themselves in the light?
I love Cloris Leachman. I always have. To me, she has the greatest sense of humor ever and she is certainly right up there with the rest of the “greatest evers.” I simply love her!
Check out her latest – you’ll laugh out loud!
Seems like Cloris (may I call you Cloris, Ms. Leachman?) has a firm grip on re-inventing herself, doesn’t it? I, on the other hand, am only now trying to figure out what the newest incarnation of me is going to be.
For the past forty-plus years, one of those incarnations has been as a mom – I was pregnant before graduating high school, and back in those days, it was typical to jump into a marriage with whomever you thought the father of the child was. So that’s what I did.
Now, that baby is going to be forty years old next Thursday. In the years between that first skipped period and next week’s big event, a string of divorces and marriages, as well as numerous re-locations to various cities and towns up and down the west coast, happened while I tried to figure out this life thing. And, of course, I carted along the little one wherever I went, until he joined the Navy and started moving around to different places on his own.
For the last forty years, it’s been an interesting adventure trying to figure out just how to be a mom, first to a child and then to an adult. I didn’t have a very good example to go by, seeing as how I left home when I was 17 and pregnant, so I set about inventing myself as a mom during his first 18 years, vehemently vowing to not raise this kid the same way I’d been raised. What that meant was the pendulum swung from my restrictive, fundamentalist up-bringing to a wide-open, sometimes crazy, never boring bunch of years while I kinda made stuff up as I went along. And as time went on, I prided myself on keeping what I thought was an open line of communication between us, letting him know as he got older that I had no basis for anything I was doing and he could and should just let me know when it was out of line.
Well, looking back over the last ten years or so, I’d say he’s spoken loud and clear and I just didn’t hear him. Here’s a few examples – you’ll let me know if you agree: when I took him and a couple of friends to Italy for my 50th birthday, he made sure to not tell anyone on the tour that I was his mom; he’s moved three times in the last three years, twice out of state and once out of the country, without telling me his new address; he won’t take photos with or of me when we’re together, even if I ask him to, but he takes lots of pics when he’s with his friends; he emails me that he’ll talk to me later and then doesn’t. That’s just a few examples…. So what do you think? Am I being stupid? To me, it sounds like I’ve been pretty thick-headed!
If I had a regret in this scenario, it would be that it took him and me all these years to finally get to this place – where he’s on the other side of the world, celebrating his 40th birthday with new friends, and I’m here, not celebrating his 40th birthday with him, trying to re-invent myself after having spent the past 20 years being a mom to an adult child in a way that has seemingly alienated us.
And if I had a hope, it would be that we will have an adult mother-son relationship that is satisfying to both of us – warm, communicative, respectful, and joyful – because my son is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met and I’d really like to have him in my life!
So, I’m re-inventing myself with hope! And damn the regrets – they’re a useless waste of energy! Move on, be present in this moment, and know that the best life we have is the one we’re having right this very second!