My mother is 85 years old. She lives in a very small town in Iowa, independently. She is currently campaigning for Hillary Clinton, calling around to make sure people know their caucus locations. She still drives. She’s a huge sports fan, especially college football and basketball. She can still play the piano and the organ quite skillfully and musically. She knows how to use email to communicate with family and friends. She knows how to use her TiVo to record and watch her favorite TV shows. She knows how to watch a church service in Colorado on the Internet on Sunday mornings. She’s impressive.
I just turned 45 years old. I live in downtown Chicago and haven’t lived in a small town now for twenty-eight years. I also live by myself, and have so since my separation from my now ex-husband fourteen months ago. I hate driving and don’t own a car. Sports are not interesting to me. I work in a fast-paced marketing environment, deal with four busy email accounts and am actively Tweeting and Instagramming daily, both for myself and for my boss. I am just finishing my first book and am dedicated to the side hustle of promoting it. I don’t have time to watch much TV, but when I do it’s usually on Hulu. I’m motivated, disciplined and sometimes exhausted.
Because she gave birth to me when she was 40, we are not just one but two generations apart. She is a child of the Great Depression/Mature-Silents Generation. I am Generation X. Her generation got married and stayed married. That was also my intention but it didn’t work out as it didn’t for the majority of my generation. Her generation was pre-feminism. Mine still fights the glass ceiling, but we’ve come a long way. Her generation grew up listening to Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman. Mine, Erasure and Duran Duran.
I think she has a difficult time understanding how my life can be full and rewarding between my work, my time with friends and all of the urban activities I enjoy. And I have a difficult time understanding how she can be happy in that same small town all these years. I think she has a difficult time with the concept that I truly enjoy traveling by myself. And I have a difficult time understanding that staying at home makes her happy. And for sure she has a difficult time understanding how I enjoy dating men 10-15 years my junior and my lack of desire for any commitment. And I wonder why she never sought a companion after my dad died.
Sometimes our relationship is difficult. I tell her too much about my life, then she has questions and worries. I don’t tell her much and she worries as well. I also worry about her health and how she is feeling. I remember once she said, “you will understand when you have children”. Thing is, I am not having children. So, here we are. It’s not easy but I love her. And I just got an email from her, literally as I am writing this post. “Just remember that I love you very much and that you are always in my prayers.” I will.DaughtermotherRelationships