When the Cape Comes Off: Parents Growing Older

You know the deal. When you were little, you feared the impossible. The shadows were monsters, the tall cabinets, mountains. Just when you thought all was lost, your heroes would appear. Mom would check under the bed, and Dad would grab you the glass. You thought they could do anything, and that nothing could get them. You never thought that one day you’d be wrong.

 

Now that I’m in my late twenties, I can honestly say I never thought I would be. And believe it or not, it took some time to realize that my mother was actually a human being with feelings, challenges and most importantly, faults. I had seen my mom cry, but it never occurred to me that maybe she had wronged someone, or had failed at something. It’s not that I put her up on a pedestal, it’s just that I come to think she had life figured out, never realizing that she was just like me.

 

My mom is an excellent driver (sure, shes had speeding tickets and a few accidents,) but when I was nine we got into an accident. For weeks after the accident I was nervous to drive with her. I had finally seen that she wasn’t perfect when it came to road behaviors, and it struck something in me. The cape was slowly coming off, and I realized she wasn’t invisible.

This is, by no means a way for me to say my mother is horribly faulted and has pushed me away. In fact, it’s  quite the opposite! When I turned 22 I started becoming closer to her, and now that the cape has come off, we couldn’t be closer. Seeing her kryptonite(s) helped me to relate to her more. Now, she can count on me to be there for her if she’s having a hard time, and I now view her in a better light. I’m looking at her face to face, rather than up on that pedestal. It’s refreshing to know that she’s just like me (well, not quite. Shes still way cooler than I’ll ever be.) She’ll always be my hero, but at least now I can say I know the woman behind the cape.

 

Honor your parents and guardians, you never know what evil they’re facing.

 

And always stay curious,

J

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