Monday, February 16, 2015
His hair is getting long, and he likes to tie it up in a high pony tail. It looks particularly adorable with his heart-shaped sunglasses. He's doing the hostility thing with his mom these days, and I can only guess it's about separation and individuation--fancy words to describe growing up. And he can't resist being rough with the tiny chihuahua, despite our frequent reminders. He's generally a good natured kid, who, like all children, needs to be reigned in every now and then so he doesn't grow to be a complete Neanderthal man. His parents guide him as needed, and they really are quite good at it. They take his upsets in stride. They know he can be exhausting, they acknowledge that.
Nevertheless, no doubt he will wind up on a therapist's couch complaining about his childhood.
I know so many people who are estranged from their families of origin. Some take it in stride and do not worry about it. It is what it is. Others agonize over the rifts that continue. My twenties were consumed with angst over my relationship (or lack of) with my parents. My two sisters, who had children before I did, assured me that if I had a child I would look at my parents with more understanding, more compassion. And it was true.
Is there a statute of limitations when it comes to carrying a grudge in the family? I suppose it depends on the offense. Sometimes, often, we don't even know what we did to deserve the big freeze. And the more we try to problem-solve, the worse it gets. Amorphous accusations fill the air, the trash bin of all our hurts and perceived slights gets pulled out and dumped all over the Persian carpet.
When do you walk away if the other person refuses to engage constructively? As many of you older folks know, our BS button gets activated often these days. Life is too short for this kind of grief. I want to shout, "grow up!" But I also know the sting of feeling hurt by someone in your family, and being the imperfect creatures we are, we often respond defensively and aggressively. Tit for tat.
That's what I'm musing about today....weird, huh?