Grading Mom

9 Dec

How do you measure if you were a good parent?

I figure if my kids are all productive happy people – I will have done ok.
I was listening to my own mother talk about stories when we ( my brothers and I ) were younger. Perhaps it is just a difference in perspective or a bit of revisionist memory – but she wasn’t the mom she remembers!
But she has mellowed and well….I am a relatively happy productive person and all my brothers are successful happy guys…so by my test she was a good mom. And 30 years later – it is kinda funny to think about her turning to my about to be mother-in-law and saying “you know she is a real bitch!” Yes – referring to myself! It is still what my cousins and I all remember best about my rehearsal dinner.

So interestingly enough….this fall in a conversation with one of my sons, he pointed out how I had failed to recognize when he had suffered bouts of depression. I listened to him then noted to him – it is difficult to tell the difference from a surly teenager who may have played video games all night and then finally crashed from someone who is depressed. I apologized for not being aware – but the conversation just cannot leave me.

So interestingly enough……my daughter recently was invited to take an acting workshop. The woman who taught the class is very well known in the film and theatre industry. She was trying to get the participants to learn to go deep inside to access feelings to use in acting. She told the students to think about their relationship with their mother – recent interactions, conversations. My daughter looked around the room and everyone was sobbing. She called to say thanks mom ” I had nothing. I couldn’t recall one time that was painful or difficult”

I’ve always told my kids “I am trying to give you plenty of material for therapy”. Could be a self fulfilling prophecy!

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