The time I was small, living in Allentown, going out to play with the neighbor kid, walking up town to move through streets and allies and secret pathways behind houses, to climb to the top of the parking garage at Hess’s.
How old was I then? Ten? Twelve? I can’t remember. How long were we on our adventure? Hours? Mom said to go play. Didn’t she? When we came home, the front door of my house was locked. I rang the doorbell. Over and over. She didn’t come. She wasn’t there. Not home. Where was she? I sat on the front steps waiting. How long? Was she ever coming home? Was this the last time she would leave? Was this the final exit?
I’m sure I cried. I’m sure I cried until she returned. When she finally did come home I cried, “Where were you?” “I went to Nanny’s. I called for you, but you didn’t answer. And I got tired of waiting for you. Maybe next time you’ll tell me where you’re going.”
Are these memories even accurate? They’re 40+ years old. Can anything that old even be true anymore?
The real frustration now is these memories are 65+ years old for her. When I try to talk to her about this stuff she just says she doesn’t remember any of it. How convenient for her to have forgotten.
What am I looking for? Hoping for? Oh boy. A simple “I’m sorry. I know I could have done better. I did the best I could.” But it’s the same every time. Laughter. Brushing off. Changing the subject.
So I laugh too. What else can I do? I can’t make her change. I can’t make her into the mom I wish I would have had. She’s the only mom I have. We get along because I know how to handle her.
But getting along and handling are so much less than what I always craved. Unconditional love.
How did I get here? Why is it hurting me so much now? It didn’t matter for so long. Why now?
That is the $64,000 question.
Linking with Kelli.