Dear Marc, in every correspondence comes a time when one of the correspondents starts quoting Oscar Wilde. We have reached that point now.
We’re buying a house right by my parents’ house. It’s very similar to theirs. All I could think as I looked around was Oscar’s old truth “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his.” I knew I would one day turn into my mother. I was just not prepared when that day came.
My mom loves me, this I know. She wants us to live nearby, so we can see her and dad more often. That’s why she tells me that the house we’re about to buy in her neighborhood is “dark, old and too expensive”. It’s also “too far from everything and you will most likely have trouble finding childcare”.
I’m used to this. All my life she has been trying to protect me from disappointment. Every birthday the same thing: “Your birthday is coming up sweetie, but you’re not getting any great gifts this year. Nothing special. I mean it.” She’s not saying this to build up for a happy surprise. She does really mean what she says. Like she has wrapped up pieces of cardboard and pinecones for her kids b-day. Nothing special. Don’t be disappointed. And then I would receive perfect gifts.
I can hear her through her warnings as she talks about the house. She wants to protect me from disappointment all over again. I hear her love. It’s so strong and beautiful. “You’re a city girl, you will hate it out here” might sound to others like she really advises me not to buy the house, since she knows me better than most. But I know that what she’s saying is “Welcome to the neighborhood”.
And as I tuck my daughter in at night I tell her "we're buying a house and you will get a room of your own. It's not a very big room and it's rather dark". Like any white, soon-to-be suburban, middleclass mom of two, this makes me remember the words of a genius named Dre. As he so aptly put it "The motherfucking saga continues".
now must feed kids oatmeal.