Walking by this plant that I have put in the ground only a few weeks ago I noticed that although I provided him with the best care I could, looked all dry and dying. Then, a few days later, surprise… new flowers.
It made me think about my father. Still fighting for his life after a bone marrow transplant. He has cancer. No one can tell at this point if he will live, and if he will, what his life are going to be like after all the medical procedures he is going through.
I am thinking a lot about my relationships with him, the past, the present, the future. Our family histories and mysteries. I try to write about it but it feels more like a stutter. A friend told me that my recent posts give an impression that I am only sharing tidbits. Readers posted comments with questions, wanting to know more. I am not trying to tease. I will tell you, I promise. It’s just not so easy to write about. Food is a much safer topic to discuss.
I once attended a food event where people sat around a big communal table and shared a meal and talked about food for 3 hours! Gosh. Every time I asked a personal question trying to get to know the person, they have quickly escaped back to talk food. That was sort of crazy and weird and too much. How scared people get when faced with a chance to really get to know other people. Yes, food is much safer.
Back to the topic, because I have something to share.
I have recently had a conversation with my aunt, my father’s sister, about him. I told her about the mixed feelings I have in the current situation, my dilemmas and conflicts about what I want or supposed to do for him, while my mind is occupied with trying to understand how I feel about him now after getting letters from the past that brought up things I forgot or tried to put behind and move on (more about those later sometime) in addition to more recent disappointments. She tried to defend him. Talking to me about his childhood. Trying to make me understand his side. She’s a very loyal sister.
But it made me angry.
And then I thought, and I told her, that if I would follow the same train of thought, this means that I have gained the “right” to screw up my kids childhood!
I asked her “according to what you say, do you think that I can hurt my children and then ask them, when they grow up, to understand me, forgive me, love me unconditionally, take care of me when I’m old? I’ll say I’m sorry and will move on from there like nothing ever happened?”
And so, after thinking about it more, I’ve decided that I’m interested to know more about my family’s history, BUT I don’t care about his childhood, and I don’t care about my mother’s childhood… I don’t care about anyone’s unhappy childhood! Not when it means that these adults are going to do the same to their own kids. Hiding behind the “my mom did this to me” or “my father was like that” doesn’t really help anyone live happily ever after, does it?!
And then I had an understanding of something very meaningful.
If I chose to take the path of the “I had a bad childhood” excuse/ reason/ circumstances/ whatever to justify not being a good parent for my children when they need me, not giving them what they need to grow and be happy people, then I lose twice! I miss the opportunity to give my own flesh and blood a meaningful family connection and I hurt not only them, I also get hurt myself once again.
Being a parent, a good parent, is a second chance to have a wonderful childhood and to have a strong healthy family. And to heal one’s wounds.
I see being a mom as my opportunity to heal through becoming the mother-father I always wanted, to give my children the things I always longed for – lots of hugs, time spent together, family dinners, cooking together, playing, trips, birthday parties, going to the park, reading, helping with homework… But most of all, endless limitless love and being there for them. We’re not a perfect family, but we try to make each other happy.
Through giving my little people love, a home, safety, fun, I am compensating for what I’ve missed and I get stronger. I can’t change the past, but I can make a future.
Now go and give someone a hug because I don’t know how I can talk about food right now. It fascinated me how Donna from My tasty Treasures blog usually opens up her posts discussing sex and then swiftly changing to food and sharing recipes. She does it so elegantly. How do you do that Donna?
But I will remind you that the book giveaway ends THIS WEEEKND. 5 copies!!! of “Not Becoming My Mother”, 1 of then signed by Ruth Reichl, the author!!!! Details here.
And then I’ll go and find you a keeper recipe that we all love and share it with you later on because another thing that I didn’t have frequently in my childhood is homemade food. This is why I want everyyyyyyyyone to have good homemade food. I’m on a mission.
Categories : Family