Saturday, August 18, 2012
Mom, meet the Elephant. Elephant, meet mom.
I'm always astounded by my mom's deep knowledge and understanding of her children. I'd say that my mom and I are close, but there are things that I haven't and won't share with her. That being said, I believe she knows me better than I sometimes know myself.
I had been keeping a secret from my mom for a long time. It wasn't something overly secretive to my friends; it was just something that was a part of my life that I didn't think my mom needed to know.
My "secret" is something I don't deem necessary to share on the internet, as I like to keep some aspects of my life personal. However, in blogging about it, I want to tell the part of the story that isn't too personal to share: How much my mom knows and loves me.
Today I finally introduced my mother to the Elephant in the room. The introduction was an unexpected and unplanned Saturday afternoon telephone conversation.
Things started off normally enough: "How are you? What are you doing today? How's work?..." The small-talk kind of stuff that my mom and I routinely chat about. "I'm fine," I told her. "How are you?"
As usual, my mom caught me up with the happenings of her life; she talked a little bit about her trip to Kamloops, my nieces, and what she had done that morning. It was the same old small talk, and then she asked again how I was doing.
"Fine," I relented. "I'm not going to give you details, but I'm going through kind of a hard time right now," is what I told her.
"I know," she said.
"You know?" I asked.
"Yeah, I know," she said.
"What exactly do you know?" I asked.
And she told me exactly what she knew.
"Who told you?" I asked.
"Nobody, I'm your mother." She said.
I sat there on my floor, phone pressed to my ear and Elephant beside me. I didn't expect this exchange to ever happen, yet it was happening, and she left it up to me how the conversation was going to go. Understanding and maintaining an impassive attitude, she offered the details she knew, without asking for any in return.
(Mom, this is the Elephant. Elephant, mom. "Oh hello Elephant in the room, it's nice to finally formally meet you.")
In the grand scheme of things, the "secret" is nothing important. (Anyone reading this is probably coming up with all sorts of salacious scenarios about me, but trust me, it's nothing near as juicy or exciting as you are probably thinking.) In fact, I know I could have told my mom at any time, I just didn't feel I wanted or needed to.
I respect my mom immensely for the way she conducted herself. Here I was, shutting her out of a piece of my life, and she waited outside the metaphorical door for when (or if) I was ready to ever let her in. She never tried to barge in, or make me introduce her to my Elephant. In fact, she was very hospitable to the Elephant, welcoming the shy, invisible stranger into her life and waiting for me to introduce the two if I saw fit. She watched me from afar, keeping an eye on me the whole time, like any mother does.
There are many times in my life that I've kept secrets from my mom. I'm her daughter, that's what daughters do. Yet, I know (and probably even knew before this) that she knows me far greater than I think she does. It's comforting.