I have written several articles for Boomer Café, the online baby boomer magazine about the joy of parenting adult children. This post finds me lamenting, even complaining a bit about this role.
As a mother I am, of course, quick to point out, I’m crazy about my kids (Tracy 30, David 27) and am exceedingly proud of them. They are virtually launched and almost off the family dole. My daughter is a high school English teacher with benefits, a pension plan and a condo she is paying for. My son has attended some of the best universities in the country and is in the process of completing his Ph.D. program in Counseling psychology. Thus, I am abundantly endowed in the bragging rights department.
But…..do they call? Not enough! Do they visit? Not frequently enough! Are they ever going to move back to their home town? Of course not! If they have children, will I be able to dash over and see my grandchildren? Hell no! Am I bitter about this state of affairs? Of course not….well, maybe a bit. My husband (their step father), their Dad and I all encouraged them to spread their wings and fly the nest. Now, I don’t completely regret encouraging them to travel and experience new places and cultures. But I did think maybe they would want to share these experiences with their parents.
We currently have a texting relationship and, most of the time, I’m grateful for these scraps of affection bestowed upon me. Today, however, was just one of those days, I resented the distance and lack of attention. As one of my husband’s favorite Blues song title says, “I’m in a dangerous mood”.I start thinking of the many thoughtful acts we bestow upon them- checks and gift cards in the mail; care packages filled with treats; flowers for special occasions and personal victories; car insurance payments; air plane tickets; Netflix subscriptions; and cell phone service. (That one makes me the maddest. I pay for them to have a cell phone and they don’t use it to call me? What is wrong with this picture?)
I think Boomers are in a weird “tween” position. As 50s and 60s kids, we sought our parent’s approval and felt a need to “please” them. (Episodes of AMC’s Mad Men confirm this supposition). Now, as parents, we find ourselves in the position of trying to “please” our kids. We want their approval and to be liked by them”. Why are those of us in this “Tweener” generation such pleasers? If anyone has a clue, please share it with us below.