Martha Randolph Carr Martha Randolph Carr, 4/8/2010 [Archive]

Martha's Big Adventure - And in the Role of Mother

Martha's Big Adventure -- And in the Role of Mother

By Martha Randolph Carr

As we get older we change roles from child to adult and maybe to parent, and from student to person-stuck-in-cubicle-working-long-hours.

However, most of us regard our parents as frozen in some kind of alternate universe where they never change and still feel the same way about everything. To us, they are in the last role of their lives except for maybe some day getting to add on the tag of grandparent.

Whatever our parents said when we were twelve still goes when we're thirty-five. It doesn't matter if Mom protests vigorously that she's changed her mind about dining out at places with actual dishes. She said she preferred Wendy's that one time and we're going to make her stick to her word.

This is one area of our life that we can count on to not change and be rock solid certain. Boy, that's a relief.

That is, until our children start to grow up and make sly, little jokes about us in front of their friends, while we're present, as if we can't really hear them. Suddenly, our own miscreant behavior comes back to bite us.

My son, Louie, who's 22 makes sure that I never try to carry anything that weighs more than five pounds. That's a dilemma for me because I am freakishly strong but hate toting things. Do I correct him by picking up some large object or take a seat and enjoy watching him work? So far, I've been taking a seat and I'm a little concerned that's how old age gets you.

Louie is also convinced that I don't know how to use any new technology and I'm too afraid to learn, can't stay up past eleven o'clock and don't recognize any current tunes. In response I like to randomly start singing parts of rap songs when he's around, which totally weird's him out, dude.

Yes, I know that last statement is going to only encourage him to think I'm dotty, but that's okay. It's starting to feel like part of my role as mother to amuse my only child with my un-coolness. Maybe for awhile we all need to believe that there are touchstones in our little world that don't change and are therefore reliable.

Last weekend, I had a chance to enlarge my role as mother of Louie and go to his girlfriend, Kathy's aunt and uncle's house for Easter on the south side of Chicago. Kathy's mother, MaryBeth, has nine siblings who are all married and have children and a few grandchildren, and there's her grandmother, Mary. They were all there at various parts of the day.

Huge Irish Catholic family who all live in the same neighborhood, except for Uncle Mike who moved over one town to Aurora, which no one can figure out why. They were funny, loud and enveloped me as if I was one of their own even going so far as to tell me, 'If you get to your feet, you lose your seat.'

There was also a good story about a Brite-Lite that never got picked up out of the shag carpet by Kathy or her brother Bill, or her sister Julie over twenty years ago. So, MaryBeth lived up to her word and drove them to the poor box where Bill was sent to drop it in while the girls watched forlornly from the car. However, last year there was some closure when MaryBeth gave each of them a replacement for Christmas.

All day long I was introduced as, Martha, Louie's mom and everyone responded with that, 'oh' of recognition as they shook my hand. It was my first occasion as mother of the grown child at the serious girlfriend's family's house. It made me happy to see that Louie had managed to fall in with such a large, rollicking family. And, bottom line, as long as I know who I am and love what I see, it's okay to let go of how everyone else describes me. More adventures to follow.

www.MarthaRandolphCarr.com. Email Martha at: Martha@caglecartoons.com.

© 2010 Martha Randolph Carr. Martha's column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate. For info call Sales at (805) 969-2829 or email Sales@cagle.com.

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