Wednesday, March 26, 2008

moving is tough on moms

This weekend, when my parents were helping me move stuff in and appliances out of the condo with the U-Haul and my dad and I were wrangling over the title of Most Bossiest, I said something to them in the heat of the moment that they needed to hear, but not from me. 

My mother was interjecting that when we move all my brother's stuff home from college in a few months, my dad and I better not be arguing like this. I replied that bickery situations like this were exactly why my little brother isn't moving home, so it wouldn't be an issue anyway.

My dad was in the heat of battle and probably strategizing his next argument for why his way of doing things was far superior to my less-experienced take. My mother, however, looked like someone just slapped her in the face. She stared at me in shock long enough for me to see her eyes well up with tears. The she snapped, "Good for him! That way he won't have to deal with all this nonsense." She got up and abruptly left the room.

My brother has told me on several occasions that he doesn't really want to leave Mobile for home in Chicago. This completely boggles my mind, because he's looking into working in the sports industry and Mobile doesn't even have any professional teams, while Chicago has more than most cities in the country. It's true that he's got some really good buddies down there, but he's still tight with his boys from high school, most of whom still live up here. There's some other poppycock about the weather, but I don't consider that a valid reason. Granted, living with my parents isn't always a picnic, but I've found that the benefits far outweigh any periodic negatives. Besides, as I've been telling him for years, I need him to come home because I'm moving—we are like a wrestling duo, and the time has come for him to tag me out of the ring because those two cannot be left alone unsupervised.

I have been in on the discussion my brother's not moving back here for months, but he hasn't said much to my mom other than that he hasn't decided. And he really hasn't. In the back of my mind I'm hoping for him to come home. I think my mom just assumed it, so it was a jolt to hear the contrary. I can still picture the expression on her face when she heard and that just makes me want to cry.

It's certainly not easy for a mom to say goodbye to her baby, knowing that things will never be quite the same. But no matter how old you are or how far away you're going, seeing your mother cry is one of the most heartbreaking things there is.

13 comments:

Teej said...

I totally understand. If my mom cries, I cry. It's not even a decision. I'm just hard-wired that way.

Anonymous said...

Your brother's chances in Mobile may actually be better than in a bigger market. He can get good experience with a minor league team somewhere that will improve his resume. In Chicago you have to be able to produce immediate results...

Moving is always traumatic - that's why silly arguments break out over trivialities. One of the hardest things for parents to accept is the shock when, having carefully raised their children to be confident and independent - the children actually leave.

Success always has a price...

SupaCoo said...

I don't think I've ever seen my mom cry, which is crazy since I cry at Hallmark commercials. (Where did I get this crying gene anyway?) But just THINKING about her crying makes me want to cry.

The Casual Perfectionist said...

I think you summed it up nicely by saying it was "something they needed to hear...but not from me." She probably realizes that things are going to be different from here on out, but there's nothing she can do to change that, and she may not even really want it to remain the same. They've always said parents need to give roots and wings, but those transitions are hard.

It's too bad this was said in the heat of the moment, but you probably voiced out loud something she's been thinking in her head. And, if she wasn't thinking it now, she would be soon enough.

Either way, good luck!!

Lia said...

I've had that "something they need to hear, but not from me" feeling far too frequently recently. Why does brain stop and mouth keep going?

cadiz12 said...

To be fair, Anonymous is right; there's no way those big-time Chicago teams are going to hire someone straight out of college. Also, I was informed that my mom told my brother on the phone the other day that being down in Mobile has made him a "good person—not that you weren't a good person before." i think that has a lot to do with the fact that his new group of friends are really active, playing basketball and softball and going to (this probably sealed it) church.

i was worried, but i think she's going to be okay.

mad said...

Don't get me wrong, I love Chicago. But people die from the weather there.

Demosthenes said...

The fallibility of parents is the singlemost awful epiphany any kid can ever have. I'm with you on that one.

weebug said...

lets face. moving is just plain hard on everybody! i loved the macgyver move on the shower curtain though. that made me smile!

Stinkypaw said...

No matter are old we are, we will ALWAYS be our parents babies, and we all have to accept that and our parents have to come to term with the fact that we did grow up...

Guyana-Gyal said...

I relate so deeply to what you've said here...adult child moving back home to live with parent who, I've discovered, cannot be left 'unsupervised'. Saying things I wish I hadn't said. Guilt. Pain.

It was difficult in the beginning, but as we plodded along, we got to compromising more, and we have fun together now.

In my culture, we pamper / cater to the parent, in fact, it just is not done to hurt the parent...so you can imagine how BADLY I feel if I say something I shouldn't.

The best thing to do is to hug the parent and say, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean it, it's not true ...something like that. You'd be amazed at how that works. [I had to learn to do this, it didn't come easy].

Then put a GRAND GUILT TRIP on your bro to move home, hahaha.

Toni Lea Andrews said...

My parents gave me luggage for my high school graduation. I took the hint.

Sphincter said...

Aw. Crying moms make you feel like the lowest of the low. No matter what the casue is.