Mom said, "I have a confession to make. I've been reading your blog."
"I know it. You keep referring to things I haven't told you about that are in the blog."
"Oh. Well, I can't help it. I don't know anything otherwise. It's the only way I can stay in touch."
Mom and I had this conversation this morning while we were walking the puppy. I'm glad she 'fessed up. I knew she was reading but I was also pretending that she wasn't. No pretense is always preferable.
Yesterday, my first day here, started out bumpy. My flight was late because of bad weather and when I went to put my bags in Mom's car I had to move things around because she hadn't made room for me. I snapped, "Didn't you know that I would have a suitcase?"
"I'm sorry, I meant to make room for you."
She asked how the flight was but I didn't want to talk about it. Best to put bad flying experiences out of my mind as quickly as possible. (I experience no fear, however, just slight nausea.) I perked up a little and talked enthusiastically about my trip. I don't know if it bugged her or not but she listened actively.
We had a small crisis when deciding where to go for lunch. She suggested a place and added, "But I can't eat anything there."
I said, "I don't want to go there if you're not going to eat anything."
We ended up at Julia's, and unpretentious place best known for breakfast and good baked goods. It was a good choice.
The rest of the day was ok but we kept having tension about what to do next...neither of wanted to take full decision-making responsibility. Mom was tiptoeing around me and I was being slightly inert, as I'm apt to be when I get to her territory.
A big problem is the space where she lives. She moved here last summer, with my help. It's a great new condo--but it's an open-floor plan loft. Which means no privacy. No door to close behind me. Boundary issues abound.
At bedtime, I became seriously grumpy. I had to sleep in the living room and I snapped, "Now you want to watch tv, but I just want to go to sleep." It was early, but I've been going to bed early on this trip--between 9 and 10--in a possibly misguided attempt to stay closer to East Coast time. I didn't share this with Mom because it was way better to snap. I said, "Next time, I'm going to stay in a motel. This is not going to work."
Mom got back at me by saying that she couldn't handle it either, that it was too much work, and if I couldn't find a friend to stay with she would pay for a motel for the rest of my stay.
I was too angry to say anything. So I said nothing. I worked on my crossword puzzle and listened to my iPod and stayed silent.
Maybe 15 minutes later, Mom came up with a compromise. There is a "nook" that is more private than the living room and she proposed moving the sofa bed in there for the rest of my visit. We made the change this morning and I think it will help. I'm not being kicked out.
Then, I spent a lot of time fixing Mom's computer, which is something I like to do when I'm here. I fix the computer, Mom is grateful and I feel useful. It's win-win.
After I fixed the computer (it was crashing constantly and now it seems fine--even I am surprised that what I did helped), we took the dog for a walk and Mom confessed. After that, things seemed easier. We should know by now that keeping secrets doesn't work. Maybe it works for some people, but not for us. Ideally, Mom wouldn't be reading the blog, but if she's going to read, I need to know and I need to stop pretending that it's not happening.
So, Mom, when you read this please know that it's at your own risk. I won't deliberately write things that I know to be hurtful, but it may happen that you don't like what you read. It's ok if you comment here, but it might be better if we talk about things that bother you. I know you respect my right to express myself and I appreciate that. I don't want to apologize for what I write and I hope that I can continue without it becoming an issue. Let's try, ok?
(Owen update: I'm not worrying about the New York thing and I'm not tempted to bring it up with him. I won't suggest that I join him there, but if it comes up, I won't hesitate to talk to him about it. I did have a timing issue about next week and I emailed him today--and he already answered. How did things get so...easy?)
Grateful for: peace and harmony.
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