You can choose your friends, but you cannot choose your family.
When I think about it, I did not always choose my friends. Young, free-spirited but still quite lonely, there was a time in my life when I became quite desperate for friends, even just one or two would do nicely. Then, I was quite shy but really quite full of myself whenever I spent time with my mother and father on weekends after school or work. As new and exciting things and social opportunities caused me to preen with pride, I became something of a braggart in front of my middle aged folks then.
I think I was too young and stupid to notice back then but I didn’t notice how much harm mixing with the wrong crowds was going to be for me in my later life. My folks noticed this and, funny enough, most of the time they were quite gentle about it when confronting me, not so much to interrogate me like some or another intrepid detective you see on one of those many lame shows on the TV, but more out of kindness and love for their child. Genuine concern, even outright worry, was not something I noticed from them in a heartbeat.
But when mom and daughter are alone sometimes and in the foulest of moods, some of the bitterest arguments ensue. It’s pointless going into the sordid details, most of it I can’t remember anyway, but most of the time my mother would go on about how I need to act more responsibly and take better care of myself. She would have choice words on what sort of men I should be dating and where I could find them, never mind that her own marriage was on the rocks.
Be that as it may, it’s plain for you all to see that I was quite disrespectful of my mom. My argument could have also been that as a very young girl right up until the news was broken to me as a young adult, I was never entirely aware of what my folks were going through. Today, I am happy to say, all that has changed. The folks are in their twilight years, doing their best as we speak.
I am tempted to pay them a visit today, but I usually wait patiently for my father’s text message to arrive. Then I know that all decks have been cleared and they are ready to receive their oldest daughter. My gosh, they needn’t really. Just shows how much they care for you. By the time I have arrived, they are still busy with some or another chores. That’s one good habit they have put into practice in their old age.
It may seem tedious to others but these folks are busy all day long, even if the tasks are mundane. While they will complain to me bitterly over just how expensive things have become, that’s also another day they look forward to. They love getting out of the house and driving off to their favorite malls. My folks are lucky. They worked hard and saved responsibly to at least enjoy a good life this late in their life.
They could even take a holiday if they wanted to.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
who is the fairest of them all?
That line comes from one of the first stories I ever heard as a young girl. Today, it remains one