I am calling a moratorium on texting my adult kids, except for purely informational tiny tidbits.
One reason is that autocorrect can wreak havoc with mother/adult child relations. One mom texted her son that she would meet him at the mall after she was done masturbating. I never did find out exactly what she was actually engaged in before the mall meeting. I doubt it was masturbating. And if it was, I doubt she was comfortable imparting that nugget of detail to her son.
I am also calling a moratorium on texting my adult kids, except for purely informational tiny tidbits, for another reason. I just realized weeks can fly by without a real, live conversation between us. A conversation where I gauge their tone, pick up the nuances, hear their inflections. A conversation where not only do we actively engage, but our dialogue is chunked full of sentences not phrases, one word replies or emoticons (a pictorial representation of facial expressions).
I actually was mentioning -- okay, complaining -- to one of my sons that I know he is super busy, but I miss talking to him on the phone.
"Mom," he quipped back patiently -- okay, impatiently laced with a particle of petulance -- "then pick up the phone and call me for G-d's sake. You're my mother. Don't stand on ceremony. If I'm busy, I'll tell you and I'll call you back."
I wonder what else in my life needs a reality check? What other hidden trove of resentments am I harboring based on faulty assumptions?
Oh yes. This is a good one: basing an adult child's love on how quickly he responds to a text, calls me back or answers an email. And how do I interpret no response at all?
So this is what I am keeping in mind in the days book ending Mother's Day:
- My children were not put on this earth to take care of me.
- My children should not serve as my venting board for all life's perceived injustices.
- I should not expect my children to listen like a therapist, hang with me like a friend and anticipate my every need as I slide into the autumn of my life.
Don't get me wrong: Any of the above are much appreciated. And to some degree, my sons do function as helpers, dispensers of wisdom and advice (often not thoroughly welcomed, I admit) and great companions.
- Get a puppy.
- Cultivate new friendships and embrace the relationships you have.
- Keep your mouth shut.
- And carry on with a smile.
On my good days, I even manage to sometimes follow my own advice.
If you want more information about Iris's forthcoming book Tales of a Bulimic Baby Boomer, or to sign up for her weekly newsletter, visit www.irisruthpastor.com or follow her on Twitter @IrisRuthPastor.
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