On parents

no guilt jesus

Thank you, Jesus!

 

I went to my parents’ hotel this morning to say goodbye. That over, I wanted to run out the doors of the hotel and down the street proclaiming my renewed freedom. But one does not run on cobblestones in heels – far too dangerous. Also, I am not that publicly demonstrative about personal emotions. The point is that I felt an immense sense of relief, which I know will grow even stronger once I know their plane has actually left Czech soil.

I do not feel guilty for being happy my parents are leaving. As I rode to work on the tram, I analysed why having them here makes me so uncomfortable, and whether or not I should try a bit harder – an exercise I have indulged in before.

My conclusions were, as usual, all in my own favour. But really, it would be silly and counter-productive to end with a judgment against myself.

The thing is that I have developed my own life around my own routines and around a few carefully chosen friends. I like my life, but there is a balance to be achieved everyday – a balance between being selfish and being there for my friends, looking after myself and taking care of my professional responsibilities, having enough fun and getting enough sleep. And it’s not always easy.

Visitors disrupt my balances. Whilst a visiting friend that more or less fits right into my life is easy to deal with, my parents simply do not fall into that category. And whilst I can send friends off to do some sightseeing or shopping on their own, or leave them to lie in when I go to the gym on Saturday morning, I can’t do that with my parents. They are here exclusively to spend time with me. My dad even went to the gym with me. Twice.

I guess the biggest thing with my parents is that they make me feel that I am not in control of my own life. I chose the bars and I chose the restaurants, but I never felt free to say, “I don’t feel like going out with you tonight.” I had mentioned a trip to Plzeň and the Pilsner Urquell brewery there as a possibility of something different to do. But when they picked up on that and ran with it, I couldn’t say, “Actually, that sounds too exhausting to me, and I would prefer to spend my Sunday doing something more relaxing.” And I wouldn’t send them on their own because they are old and monolingual and because they are my parents and I can’t.

I gave my parents about 6 to 7 days in total on this visit. I wasn’t consistently the most pleasant person to be with, but they seemed to accept my moodiness. I cannot help that I find spending so much time with them difficult, and I will not feel guilty that I am glad they are going.

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5 Responses to On parents

  1. aunt cookie says:

    on that note let me just say I applied for a new passport on October 12th and received it on October 25th – tired of waiting to find it……

    so there you go – i don’t know how long it will take you to recover from the oppression of parental visitation but know that I no longer have the passport hurdle in front of me

    and Prague is definitely in my future – plans. (not to worry that could be 10 years away).

    love

    Aunt Cookie

    oh btw I feel that way whenever I have company (like go away already)

  2. Heddy says:

    Max,

    Trust me, I know how you feel. My parents visited from the UK in March this year. They spent three weeks with us!

    By the middle of week two, hubby & Mum were no longer speaking, Dad spent the time ‘tasting’ the local beers & I lost half a stone in weight (obviously put it all back on as soon as they left though – bummer!)

    They came to spend time with me (not hubby, just me!) They couldn’t make even the most basic decision without referring to me. My Dad spent half an hour trying to decide what to order to eat in EVERY restaurant & my Mum made snide comments about how far Oz was from the UK & that everything in the UK was better than in Oz. (You don’t get bushfires, snakes, sharks in the UK – It’s too hot, It’s too different! My sisters house in France has more garden, I don’t have enough furniture. etc. ).

    Love the parents. Love them even more when they are on the other side of the world.

  3. Max says:

    Aunt Cookie and Heddy – thanks for the reassurance. You can both come visit whenever you want!

  4. niquemg says:

    Honey -it’s all just growing pains – hard for the folks to realise that we can make it on our own, and hard to escape the old roles that everyone falls into naturally. That being said – imagine what it is like for those of us who still live in the same town as their parents!!!

  5. ludovic says:

    when my Dad visits I last two days. A lot of that time is spent popping out to get some milk which really means briskly walking round the park swearing!
    take care,
    ps. Hi H

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