For Easter I cooked a big dinner, just like I always do for every holiday. I kind of want to write a cookbook one day, so lately I’ve taken to photographing the food I’m cooking and actually writing out the recipes. It’s fun, but it’s a challenge for me since the way I cook is so arbitrary. I rarely use cookbooks or recipes.
Anyway, my mother came over, like she does for most holidays, and she saw the disaster I was making in the kitchen: pots and pans strewn all about. Plates, spoons, potato peels, wet paper towels, onion skins littering my counter tops. I’m a messy, but effective cook. Among my mess was my camera and laptop. I spent the day blogging what I was doing. And twittering my blog posts. Geeky, yes…but fun nonetheless. I had my wine and my classical music playing. I was in me element.
She asked me what I was doing, and I told her. She then sat down at the table, where I had my laptop set up. She didn’t ask, but she began scrolling up and down the webpage of my blog. (Now I’m sure you can all imagine how irritating it is to have someone just take over your computer and start *gasp* touching it). It annoyed me for a moment, but then I figured it would occupy her for a few minutes while I cleaned up my mess and made her requested pot of coffee.
What she was doing isn’t what upset me though, it was how she reacted. I’m in my thirties. My mother has known me my entire life—we didn’t just meet. For the life of me, I can’t understand how she doesn’t know me. People who don’t know me, KNOW ME. I live my life as an open book. I’m creative, passionate, easily distracted, and have a dry sense of humor. These things are not a mystery. My occupation is creative, my children are all creative, everything my family does has something to do with some sort of creative endeavor. It’s who we are.
So why is that my very own mother, the woman who raised me, the woman with whom I lived for nearly twenty years, would take a look at my photographs, would read the words that I have written, and actually be shocked by what she sees?
She read my blog post and actually gasped. I asked her why, and she said she didn’t know I could “do something like this.” Really? I’m a professional photographer, writing is my favorite pasttime, and I’ve completed a course in Culinary Arts. Not to mention, her house is loaded with my pictures and she eats my food at least once a week. But she’s surprised about my blog entry?
She just doesn’t get it. And what’s worse… she doesn’t even really try.
Now, I’m not writing this to bash my mother because I really do love her, and I’m so thankful to have her in my life. I just can’t help these little frustrations from creeping in.
She’s not going to change though. She’s not suddenly going to become interested in the little day to day things in my life, she’s not going to stop interrupting me mid-sentence like she always does, she’s not going to all of a sudden pay attention to the things that I get so excited over. She’s just going to continue to be her, the mother she’s always been.
The best I can do is to take this as a lesson on how to be a better mother to my own children; to pay attention to the little things; to know them, and to appreciate them. And to love them for who they are, unconditionally.