When my boys were younger, I used to tell them please don’t feel superior because we are not dysfunctional, we just look like we are not. Through the years we have used humor to slay our craziness. But mostly, we have and continue to fall prey swiftly and frequently. My thick skin helps me cope with my own weirdness and eccentricities around me. Unwanted stuff people say washes off with relative ease, when I am ignored I happily retreat into my shell, and when confronted with what I don't like, I bite my tongue or deliver a retort depending on my “battle readiness”.
That last bit keeps rearing its ugly head when dealing with aging elders. There I fail. I know there's no point in getting angry. Yet it hits unexpectedly as the mouth takes over while the heart curls into a fetal position. I strike and fall concurrently. Thankfully, the universe has bestowed upon our elders an amazing gift - short term memory loss. Mother forgets a scolding within five minutes and goes back to her ways. Good for her and apropos punishment for me!!
Extrapolating to the future, I wonder what we will become. The good version of ourselves? Or the obstinate us? The naughty ones would be...er...fun? The most likely scenario for me is being in the cart while my kids walk away....
Our older friends are worrying about how not to be a burden on their children. For me the view in the far distance is crystal clear - I will be a huge pain. I know our kids will take care of us. But I know I will resist and I will be stubborn - hell, yeah! There’s always that chance that I will be kind and gentle. There is zero sign of that right now.
At some point we will absolutely need to depend on our kids. When that happens, may the Gods be kind because I will definitely deserve my comeuppance. May the kids learn to forgive themselves because they will have little control on how the parents age. Hopefully the math will work out: seemingly low degree of dysfunction in our early years offsetting the explicit off-the-charts levels in late life. In the meantime, we are feverishly stockpiling on laughter with our kids, hoping that will get us through tough times decades from now. That and yellow cat eyeglasses, for sure.