I debated whether I should ask my mom to come over from California to stay with me with me while I went through the egg freezing cycle. I was leaning towards a definite no for a while, because the thought of having her here for that long, during such a physically and emotionally delicate time made me, well, anxious at best (bat shit crazy at worst). I thought we would kill each other.
But when she left last night, I cried like a baby.
We’ve always had a peculiar relationship. We obviously love each other unconditionally, and to the outsider, we seem close, but I have a hard time talking to her about anything meaningful in my life. I’ve never really discussed boys with her, certainly not sex, she’s still kind of in the dark about why my ex and I didn’t stay together, etc. She knows everything on the surface, but I’ve given her very little insight into my decision making process and what drives me. And I really couldn’t tell you why that is (at least not in this post – that’s more of a book, and probably not a very interesting one).
And as for her, I’ve always gotten the sense that I’m somewhat alien to her. She’s always said that she couldn’t believe I was her child because I look nothing like her. She always made such a big deal of the fact that I was this blonde headed, blue-eyed thing because she’s the opposite; I would remind her that it wasn’t THAT weird when you consider the fact that I look exactly like my dad, but given their relationship, that argument never counted for much (which only adds to the complexity of the situation). Anyway, I know now that she meant it in a nice way, but I may not have always understood that. As a kid, it just made me feel like an outsider.
For all of these reasons, the thought of having her stay with me in my one bedroom apartment while I was going through the egg freezing cycle was a bit scary. And watching me go through it would surely bring to her attention all kinds of other things that we rarely discuss, like: ‘why can’t you just get your shit together and get married/stay married and have a kid or two, like your friends back home?’
But to her credit, other than the few comments about how she couldn’t wait for me to hatch a couple of those eggs, she was simply quietly supportive, which was exactly what I needed.
In the beginning, she tried to help with the shots, which was annoying, but when she realized that she couldn’t really do much to help in that department (because unless you’re a nurse or a doctor, you’re not coming anywhere near me with a needle!), she focused on cooking and cleaning for me, and just hanging out and being supportive. As we got used to ‘living together,’ she started to understand the best way to have a relationship with me is not to constantly offer up her opinion, advice, or to ask intrusive questions. And I learned that not everything she said was judgement or commentary on my life, rather, genuine care and concern, so I stopped snapping at her (ok not entirely, but there was big improvement). Then towards the end, when I was sick after the procedure, she was heaven sent. There was no way I would have been able to run around to the doctors without leaning on her, and it was just so good to have her by my side.
When she left last night, I was shocked to find myself in tears. Of course, I couldn’t let her see those tears, so I waited until she left and then had a meltdown. Given how much I was looking forward to getting my life and my apartment back, my breakdown was confusing, but I think I’ve figure it out now: For the first time in a long time, I really needed her, and she is at her best when somebody needs her. While I’m sure it was exhausting for her to put up with my shit and be at my beck and call, she enjoyed it because it was like she was a mom to a child again.
As I thought about my relationship with my mom, I started to wonder if I could actually do it. Would I be good with (and for) a child? Will I screw them up entirely? Do I just want to have kids to fill some sort of desire to be needed? Will I only be good at it while they can’t back-talk? Will I really want to cook and clean for another little human being and constantly be at their beck and call the way my mom was for me? Holy crap?!
Then I realized I don’t have to freak out right now, my girls are on ice until I figure life out. Though that could take a while, and I do really, really want my mom to be a young-ish grandmother so she can help. Maybe we can put her on ice for a bit?! Kidding, of course.
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