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I talk to my mom and dad twice per week just to chat and see how they’re doing. We don’t live in the same city, maybe see each other in person 2-4 times per year for short visits, so talking on the phone is sort of an essential thing for us in being close.
Earlier this week, I chatted with my mom and she was telling me about plans for my dad’s upcoming birthday. In a nutshell, she adamantly told me that they did not want to invite anyone over to their house for the big day and they did not want to go out. As the conversation progressed though, she told me though that she was going to bake a cake and make a nice dinner so in case anyone comes over, they’ll have food to serve. For some reason, this dumbfounded me immensely. I questioned my mom stating that she just said she did not want to see anyone yet she was planning for a party?!?! She gave reasons but they just didn’t make any sense.
Later that night, I was meditating and afterwards I came to a realization: why do I care how my parents want to spend their social life? Even though she’s speaking out of both sides of her mouth…who cares!!
This is not the first time I’ve questioned my mom’s hypocrisy. Thinking back over the years, I’ve done it a lot! For the most part she’s been patient with me calmly defending herself against my accusations. But other times, I’ve pushed her to her limits. There was crying, screaming…not pretty. Pressing a loved one with an interrogating type of tone is just no good. Still somehow it spews out of me and I don’t even notice I’m doing it.
So why do I do it? And why do so many other children do it to their parents? (Yes, I’ve noticed.) Well, my amateur psychology theorizes that it’s payback!! From our earliest days, our parents tell us what to do in order for us to stay safe. They are the voice of reason. But after a while, that goodie-2-shoes-I-always-know-what’s-best attitude starts to annoy us. And when we see them not following their own advice, we can’t help but feel like calling them on it! And kids especially love to call adults on hypocrisy. While I’m not a parent myself, I see my students do it all the time whenever I misspeak in a piano lesson.
I really feel bad about being like this. I feel petty. As I get older, I’m learning the best thing for my relationship with my parents is to let them be. And while they’ll sometimes say one thing one minute and do or say something the opposite the very next minute, who cares! It’s their life. They deserved to live it how they wish. The last thing they need is an inquisitor of a son telling them anything else.