Sunday, March 8, 2009

Just Stuff it Under the Bed

It's funny sometimes to think about where the line between child and adult is.

I am thirty-two years old. I'm married with two children of my own. I have a successful career, and I pay my bills on time (mostly). However, the mere thought of my mother coming to stay with us for four days while Pythagorus is in the South on business has me cleaning my bedroom in details that haven't been reached for ... oh, I'm going to say years. For some reason, my mother being in this house brings out the child in me.

I guess the reason for that is obvious. She lived in this house for almost fifteen years. What is now "my" bedroom used to be hers. The fact that it wasn't exactly clean on a regular basis when it was her room will no doubt be lost in her memories. Oh my God, the wainscoting is dusty! (I have a black lab and white wainscoting ... it's always going to look dusty).

What gets me, I think, is that you always want better for your kids, and I think that's why my mother is so quick to pass judgment on my (lack of) housekeeping skills. In a recent conversation with my sister, we came to the mutual conclusion that Kay (my mother) is "special", for lack of a better way to put it. She has a good heart and would do anything for anyone, but she has eccentricities that impacted us adversely when we were children and have made her the subject of many eye rolls and inside jokes she will never understand as we've gotten older.

I love my mother dearly. After the girls and Pythagorus, she is the most important person in my life. She knows this as well as I do. In fact, she was the first person to whom I e-mailed the illustrious first edition of the brand new school newspaper. In much the same way, I am the first person she comes to with things both good and bad. My mother, the bane of my existence for the first twenty-three years of my life, is now pretty much my best friend. Life is strange.

Which is why I can't figure out why I'm reeling on Klonopin as I clean my bedroom in anticipation of her arrival. This should be a photograph from earlier years, and I find it intriguing that it's still the case all these years later.

Is there some point in time where that magic parent/child role reversal takes place? Although I guess it's true, once a mother, always a mother ...