What Do You Want From Me?

I’ve aged. My children are grown. For the most part, they live elsewhere. From time to time one might move in for awhile, but he always moves out again. It varies which one is here. I would assume the process of parenting is over. Now we are all adults.

Do children become children when they move back home? Do they want something they don’t articulate when they visit? What did they expect when they showed up?

I am still the same person I was when we were all younger. I am not as energetic. I tire more easily. I don’t work and have less to talk about.

I sat many times and listened to my grandmother tell me things she had told me before. I didn’t do it because I had forgotten or because I’d asked her to tell me again. I did it because she seemed to get so much pleasure out of telling the story. Do my kids give me the same consideration? No. They will tell me immediately, “You’ve told me that before.” It doesn’t matter if something different has happened because of it, or if I found out something interesting about it, no, “you’ve told me that before”.

I also get chastised if I mention anything from the past that they find depressing. “I wish you wouldn’t talk about that” is that refrain.

I don’t know when they got so grown that they thought they should tell me what to talk about or how to spend our time together. I guess basically I don’t know what they want from me anymore.

As children they wanted to share every thing with me – even things I found boring or distressing. Still, I sat and listened. Now they tell me tidbits about their lives and if I ask about what they’ve told, I’m nosy. They don’t say that, but I can tell they’ve told me all they want to and wish I wouldn’t ask.

I honestly don’t know how to communicate with my adult children. One was telling me tonight how he budgets money. Why does he think that interests me? Does he think I don’t know how to budget money? Did I tell him I knew how to do that? No. I sat patiently and listened to him tell me something I already knew to be polite. Should I interrupt them when they begin to bore me or when they repeat themselves and say, “You’ve told me that before.”?

I was taught to be polite. That would not be me to interrupt or suggest they are boring, but neither is it me to sit and listen to kids I supposedly raised tell me some of the things they feel they have the right to say now that they’re grown and I’m retired.

I cannot figure out, when they show up, what do they want from me?


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