Sunday, July 15, 2007

The reversal of roles in parenthood

I am just back from taking my Mom to the Vancouver airport, and I have to say that I feel quite nostalgic. We had a really good visit (as we always do) which was even better because two of my brothers came to visit as well. Therefore I got to see at least 3 members of my family. We always have great times when we are together.

As I was seeing my Mom off to the gates, it occurred to me that I was experiencing a reversal of roles. As a child, I am sure my mother was always worried that I would get into trouble, or that I would hurt myself (I did a lot of tree-climbing in my younger years). She had to see me and my brothers off to different countries many a time and I am sure that, in the back of her mind, she was always worried.

However, now that I'm grown up, I worry about her (naturally). You should have seen me, I was right at the gate before security clearance waiting to see if she had made it safe and sound through security. This is not a really challenging task, and she has traveled the world, so she is quite comfortable taking planes, making connections, reading departure and arrival computer screens, having her stuff searched while going through security, etc. Yet I was worried.

How funny that as children our parents worry about us and as adults, we worry about them. And the funniest part is that they'll never stop worrying about us. However, we seem to have a heightened sense of worry because now we realize that there is a world out there and that nobody is invulnerable. Moreover, if we have children, we now worry as parents for our children, and as children for our parents. So the chain never stops... who said that parenthood was easy?

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