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the price of paying too much attention

May 31, 2011

I remember sitting in the back of the tiny soft top sports car and thinking that it’s not as glamorous to be stuffed into the back that’s not really a seat than to be the passenger next to the driver. Copper body, soft black top, mahogany dash and stick shift with shiny knobs of chrome with the Doobie Brothers blaring from the tape deck the car speeds along on a gray day and I can see the clouds as I find a comfy spot where I can stretch out my legs.

We are on the way to the movies, a date with my mom and some random dude. They sit in the car and I am their captive charge as they smoke pot. I am old enough girl now to be worried that people will smell it on us. On me, on my mother and I don’t think I care if someone busts this dude that is with us as I can’t even remember his name. I tell them I don’t think they should do that in the parking lot. I know we can get in trouble. My mother shoots me a dirty look  and tells me to be quiet and shut up. I wait and wait.

Finally its time for the movies and we go see Time Bandits and I think it’s the most magical movie ever and secretly wish that my mother would either stop all this, pay more attention to me or just become a burnt roast in the toaster oven.

My mother and her date hate the movie and it makes me love it even more.

I look at my own children now and how much I love them. I just said to my darling Chica, who is 7 now, “How can someone who is so completely annoying be so completely loveable?”

I so desperately love my children that I will do anything to make sure they are happy, feel loved and appreciated and be there for them in ways that I completely lacked growing up.

Did my parents dysfunction make me more highly functional? Will my children be at a disadvantage because I love them so much, talk to them all the time, play with them and shield them from anything that might be too scary or dangerous?

What price will I pay for being so close?

The price my mother paid for being so distant  was my distance from her.

In her death what I realize that I am trying to create are memories of the future from memories from the past. Reliving what we had-both good and bad up to the point that she died keeps her memory alive but what does her memory serve me? What I need, crave and desire is the future with her that I will never have.

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