I wonder which affects us more – when we realise we are a disappointment to our kids or a disappointment to our parents ?
I am a young mother – Son arrived when I was the very mature age of 19, and Daughter followed by the ancient age of 23. So now when they are in their 20s I am in my 40s and enjoying every moment. I am not a perfect person and I knew I disappointed my kids early on. I would never say “I promise” if they asked for something. It was always “maybe”. This was my way of protecting them from disappointment if I was unable to follow through – then I could say, rather righteously, “I did not promise”.
Being honest though, it was a cop out. I was never holding myself to anything. It was easier to prevaricate and to make half-hearted attempts than to be completely invested in something. So their lessons in disappointment came early and not from not getting things, but from me never investing fully. My kids learned early on that Mom had lead feet. It shows in the reactions and comments now – no one expects me to promise anything, and if I do, it is met with scepticism.
I discovered last week (hence me being so quiet) that my mother is also disappointed. Besides the usual reasons – you know – I didn’t do x right and I fell pregnant early and I left my ex, yadda yadda yadda. It has now come to light that she feels lonely and cut off. We’ll ignore the pity party that went with that, but the bottom line is I don’t text her my every thought and action.
She is disappointed that I am not sharing every facet of my life. Every nuance. If you know me at all, you will know that I don’t share everything. I can’t. Too many reasons why – I will allude, I will skim over, but for me to bubble out? Things must be either super bad, or I have dealt with them sufficiently that it does not hurt too much anymore. My mother wants to have me share all with her, when I know she is unable to support me in any manner or form. If I had to share with her, it would lead to an episode of ill-health because “how can she deal when I am so far away“.
In other words, mother would use my news as an excuse to fall ill and get attention instead. And I am disappointing her by not playing the game. I think disappointing my kids is the biggest kick.
Somewhere in here is a novel…