My parents celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary this past week.
I struggled with say “happy anniversary” for my parents marriage has never been happy, at least not from my view. I did offer congratulations as I do think they deserve to be acknowledged for surviving their marriage for 47 years. It was never easy. (I left out the survival part when I congratulated them.)
I was a bit startled when I viewed my mothers facebook page a day or so later. I was wall surfing, creeping on my friends and noticed my mother had a good deal of comment traffic on her wall. This was unusual. My mother tends to use facebook to play Bejeweled, catch up on the lives of her children and grandchildren, and sometimes farm. She does not update her status and rarely comments on the walls of others, let alone her own.
In response to all the happy anniversary greetings my mother posted a response to her commenters. The last line of that response read
“Yes here we are 47 years later 4 children later and 14 grandchildren later time does fly”
Note the fourteen.
My older sister has 5 children.
I am parenting 2.
My brother has 3.
My younger sister has 3.
That adds up to 13 not fourteen.
Of course, you know as well as I do this was intentional.
She counted my daughter.
While it is not a public pronouncement, it is not lost on me that any of her friends and family(that she hides my daughters existence from) could have done the math and figured it out. Likely even asked her, perhaps told her she counted wrong. Did she think about this before she posted that? Was her heart racing? Fingers twitching? Had she already concocted an explanation? Would she say it was a mathematical error or would she tell the truth?
I did not react to the statement. I did not question, thank or acknowledge I saw it.
I will admit that these days, I wish she did not acknowledge her. It feels to me as if it is directed at me, as an apology, a peace offering, or something similar. It seems (to me) as my mother thinks all is well with us/me/her as long as she publicly acknowledges my daughter.
It is but it isnt. Add to it is the fact that my daughter wants nothing to do with me, my mother, her first family and I feel a bit bad for my mother. I want to tell her she doesnt have to put herself out there like that. Not anymore.
The viewing of the status message, a viewing that took a mere few seconds of my life, brought about a flurry of emotions and reminded me of a question I was asked at the St. John’s conference. It is a question I am asked frequently.
What is the status of my relationship with my parents today?
I have written before about this but feel, for some reason, I need to explore it a bit.
A facebook status message should not bug me this much.