As we get to be adults, we have conversations about growing up. Often those conversations center around our parents and what they did wrong. . . . I often recall a college friend saying, “When does it stop being our parents fault?”
I don’t know whether my childhood was happy, I only remember specific memories — even those seem to be a story told from my own point of view . . . as I found out about this one.
I told my older, older brother about my son’s attitude as teenager. I said, “I never had the nerve to talk to my mother that way.”
My older, older bother laughed. He said, “Ah, your selective memory! When your niece was your son’s age, I heard her talk back to her mother . . . how often I thought ‘Oh that’s familiar.’ It was a replay of my little sister talking to my mother. Why do you think I say my daughter is so like her aunt?”
Now I look back and think,”Yeah, I was a brat just like every other 17-year-old kid. It’s the nature of 17-year-olds. Young lions do it to their parents too. It’s part of growing up and leaving home.”
Part of becoming who we are is getting events into perspective. I’ve always been a little slow at catching on, but when I did that day, I saw my son and myself in a new way.
The rest of that year was lighter for one 17-year-old and his mother.
We can change the world — just like that.
–ME “Liz” Strauss