letting our loved ones be people too

Posted: December 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

We had our annual “resident candlelight Christmas dinners” at work this week – they are our gift to the residents.  Three nights of beautiful food and beautiful music in beautiful rooms.  I look forward to this week each year, even though it adds up to a lot of hours at work. 

I was pouring drinks when I was stopped by one of our residents, who wanted to introduce me to her son.  Her smile was warm and I was honored at her delight in making the introduction. The resident is in her 90s; her son is around my parents’ age.  I was happy to stop pouring for a bit to stand and talk with her.  We were chatting back and forth when her son, who was standing behind her, grasped her shoulders.  “Mom!” he admonished her in a slightly embarrassed tone, “You are blocking up the way!  We need to move!”  So I stepped away and resumed pouring, thinking to myself that the room was a giant maze, with many ways through – she hadn’t really been “blocking up the way” to any significant degree.

We are funny, when it comes to parent/child relationships, aren’t we?  That son was old enough to be a grandfather (heck, my dad is a GREAT grandfather at this point!) and still had that embarrassed shrillness with his mom (for clarification:  he wasn’t mean or a jerk – he clearly loved his mom).  For some reason, it is hard for us to let our parents be just people (and, in fairness, the vice-versa is true, too…parent-to-child).  There can be so much expectation involved.  So much worry about how THEY reflect upon US.  It is so easy to order each other around in ways we would not do to friends, coworkers, or passing strangers. 

It’s certainly not ALWAYS that way.  Plenty of people do overcome that trap and learn to deal with parents and/or children in more gracious and respectful ways.  I’m just saying…it’s not the first, natural, or automatic thing for everyone.  Especially now while we navigate the holiday season, wouldn’t it be GREAT if we could all take some giant steps in that direction? 

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