They say you turn into your parents, whether you like it or not. And I always disagreed. My parents were conservative, I was liberal. My parents were religious, I was spiritual. My parents were all about building their finances and I was a hard core non-profit girl.
And then one day, I found myself in the middle of an argument with my mother in our living room. In my mid-30s, I live with Mom — more on that later. For the moment, my Mom had brought a water bottle into the living room and plopped it right on the middle on a very nice wood coffee table.
“You need to use a coaster,” I pointed out to her. And she argued back that indeed she did not and that I was being unreasonable. The furniture was fine. Our discussion quickly became heated and suddenly it hit me– I have had this conversation before, with my mother.
Except the last time we had this discussion, I was her and she was me. I was the kid arguing that I did not need the coaster. She was the one trying to protect the furniture. And I realize in the moment that what they say is exactly right. We become our parents in all the important ways. We take responsibility. We say no to too much candy. We become the parent.
I never expected to be living with my Mom at this stage of life — or really, ever again. I had happily left home when it was time for college and thought that would be it. She used to joke about living across the street from me and my kids one day and I would roll my eyes. But then my dad died and my mom was diagnosed with dementia. And so after a long, hard look at my values, I found myself here, arguing about coasters with Mom.