Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Trap Less Traveled?

Robert Frost got to a lovely crossroads and opted to take the road less traveled and it made all the difference in his world. We la-di-dah for him. You could say that I am at my own crossroads, in front of two paths. Not pretty, wintry-scene with a forest canopy paths, more like loud, crazy, noisy paths, littered with bombs and strange animal creatures.

And “path” might be understating it a little. It’s more like “traps” that disguise themselves as paths. My option is Trap One or Trap Two. So Trap One sucks. Trap Two sucks. The question is, which sucks less? Which is the trap we want to tell our daughters we took? (excellent filter)

Today, we close on my mother’s house. About 700 signatures and 700 checks and it’s done. My mother no longer pays the bills or mortgage or taxes or anything. That is our responsibility now. This role reversal is astounding to me. Isn’t she supposed to be tucking money into my bag when I visit? Isn’t she supposed to show up at my home with bags and bags of groceries? Little outfits for her grandkids? Isn’t she supposed to be reminding me to contribute to a 401(k) or IRA? Offering financial advice and real estate tips. Telling me to save more money, especially in this economy.

I’m still in the role I never wanted to play. This time, it is very expensive for me. Old habits die very hard, indeed.

There are about five different things I need to get off my chest about this. I censor myself a lot, but am beginning to question why I need to do that. I am telling the truth (at least, my truth) so what do I have to worry about? It’s my damn outlet, this blog. I guess I don’t like confrontation and I don’t like arguing, and sometimes my truths tend to lead to those places. Truth can be such a weapon.

I am reading a very embarrassing book right now. Maybe we can do another secrets comments thing and admit our embarrassing books! Mine’s a doozy…..

A video! This is from today’s lunch. Please be kind about my dancing/singing. Avery likes to dance and if she sees us do it, she is likely to follow in. Also, I wanted to capture the way she knocks on her high chair when she is eating. Like she is bored with a Powerpoint and is saying “let’s move to the next slide.” It is very cute.


Blue Pearl said...

My mother is an 80+ year old obnoxious child. She was a child when I was legitimately supposed to be the child in the family. It's a drag growing up like that, but I think it's worse when as an adult, you realize what you missed. I'm sorry to hear your struggle with this. The look on your children's faces, though, says that you are the "transitional character" in the family, (jargon in my discipline). Hang in there and keep dancing.

calliope said...

loving the video. so effing cute.

huge day today. I will be thinking of you. all of you. insane.

I think another secrets post is a good idea...

Audra said...

I liked the secret post! I think there should be another!

K J and the kids said...

Clearly she gets her looks from her mommy Nicole and her moves from her mommy Jen.

Good luck on your road ahead.
I guess you have to accept the worst. Why you are doing it. and all of the baggage that comes with it. once all of your expectations are GONE. You won't feel so bad.
You know...the glass is 1/2 empty kind of attitude :)

Amy said...

Is that Madeline singing along too? Stinkin' cute!!

francesca said...

That is ridiculously awesome. "I shot the Sheriff" -- because what does he know, anyway? He said this wouldn't happen, and it did... but now you're making a dance out of it.

Being aware of all these decisions and expectations is more than half the battle, it's half that damned road dear old Robbie F was talking about.

She is totally keeping time by banging her hand on the high chair. Then she's *tracking* your spoon with her face, even while dancing. And Madeline is joining in from the background, no? Can I come have lunch over there? That is WAY more fun than my boring sandwich alone at my desk. Please? I'll bring some other tunes and I am a terrible singer but a good dancer, so that should make them boogie.

Thanks for the great video. And another secrets post would be awesome.

Your truths might lead to arguing in some situations with some people, but this little snapshot into your world shows that you have a whole lotta' good truth too.

PS: do the postcolonial peeps have any insight into this oppressed/freedom dilemma? Maybe a Freire-Fanon feminist version of the motherhood reversal you are experiencing in both sides of your family?

ms.bri said...

I love this video. Avery and Beck are soul mates - he dances the same way, just 2 months developmentally younger.

Maybe playdate next week? I think we have a stomach thing now but it's mild and I am hopeful it will be a quick one.

ann (fchen) said...

that was too cute ... even the singing! :)
and for what it's worth, i can 100% relate to your thoughts on how a grandparent/parent is **supposed** to act; i am in a very similar situation with my father (my brother & i own his house, he only pays utilities, there is no mortgage). it's so frustrating to me, especially when i have friends who's parents actually nurture and take care of them (as opposed to vice versa). my marriage therapist tells me a lot that i've got to learn to "self soothe" but honestly, i feel like, screaming BUT WHY ... WHY can't someone else take care of me!
thanks for letting me rant. i absolutely love your blog and your girls are gorgeous!

Denise said...

I dont own a home but desperately wish I did. I can't imagine being in your predictament. My mom.... Wont help us at all. She doesn't believe in it. So I guess our roles are reversed, except that you are helping your mother. What a woman!

Student Nurse Midwife said...

That was the cutest video ever! Avery even looks as if she's tapping along with the beat in the beginning. A baby who likes Bob Marley and the Wailers. Love it.

Shelli said...

I LOVE that she's bopping along, too!

I'm curious about how many of us are "sandwiched" before we're ready? I, too, pay my mother's expenses.

At the least, I can claim her as a dependent. And do.

Le Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Is that Maddie singing along in the background?

Meredith said...

Glad to know someone else has their babies listening to "adult" music! Noah's baths are all accompanied by 60s and 70s classic rock. No dancing, yet, but your girls have me excited about future movement! :)

starrhillgirl said...

I vote for a trashy secret books post! I *love* trashy books.
Good god your kid is cute.

Anonymous said...

I just reread Flowers in the Attic by VC Andrews in the last day and a half. Why in the world do I like reading it? That sex scene was so formative for so many friends. Okay, maybe not formative, so what is it? Anyone else read it here? Terribly overwritten and melodramatic, it still makes me groan (with annoyance, not pleasure!) but I keep reading it every few years. Why?

Anonymous said...