The men in my family have been visiting. They put me right back in the role of the daughter. My brother insists on driving. My father insists on paying for my meals. I’m physically much smaller and more agile than they are, and I’m riding in the back seat again, wishing I had my MP3 to entertain myself. The one time I jump ahead to the cashier, at the air museum, my father drops 20-dollar bills on my table that night to reimburse me. To them, I’m the one having financial trouble, husband trouble and emotional trouble, so they assert their authority trying to straighten me out, not letting me explain how I’m taking care of things in my own way.
Being a wife and mother makes you look like an adult to the rest of the world. With Fred in the care home and no children of my own, I’m always the weird kid, not Mom, not Grandma. In the eyes of my family, I’ll never move up into that “we’re all adults with kids” role.
Do you ever feel that way?