Sometimes meditation is about focus and sometimes it is about accepting that my life is mostly a series of distractions and sometimes distractions are meaningful. My mother has lived long. This week, her health challenges have been more dramatic than she'd like and I have stepped up to help. This makes her angry. I understand.
My first husband, Barry, died at a young age and in the aftermath, my three young children were often preoccupied with taking care of me: fetching soup, finding me a new husband. This was an alarming and unnatural role reversal. So I recognize the place my mother comes from when she shakes her finger and sternly warns me: "I take care of you. You don't take care of me. " "Yes mama," I say, but I don't mean it.
The words parent and mother have been verbed up. These words started out as nouns, crossed the bridge into verb country, and now comfortably reside in both places. But the words child and daughter live only in noun land. Parenting advice is plentiful; childing advice, not so much. When I was a child, it was easy to figure out my role. As a grown-up child, I need to tread carefully.
It is awkward to mother my mother. It does not feel right. It is uncomfortable and discomfort distracts.