I have come to the conclusion that there is no good way to hear anything (other than a newscast) from anyone else unless it is unqualified approbation, or obvious approval and/or praise.
Concern, worry, helpful hints (except when read from a columnist in the newspaper) become mini-interventions. Thoughts intended to be enlightening, broadening or educational are only welcome when couched deep within shared discussions of subjects that are philosophical rather than real or which clearly (and preferably) pertain to the actions and behavior of some third person.
And all of this is exponentially intensified when any of it comes from your mother. All is perceived as judgment.
So I don’t have much wiggle room. I must be the manipulator of all time (which is always caught out) or the insistent master of the non sequitur (which might well lead to my isolation) to get a free pass when offering information to any of my children.
If I say I’m worried, then, of course, I am showing a lack of faith in your ability to cope.
If I interject with opinions I am giving advice, and if I hold to my opinions after discussion, I am trapped in a time warp.
If I offer my experiences from the past, I am either assuming that my ideas are still current, indicating that you are not smart enough to have thought of them on your own, nor to have observed what was happening; or worst of all, telling boring stories that aren’t applicable to anyone or anything in the present. Any insights I share cast aspersions on the speed of your individual path to wisdom.
But here’s the deal.
I’m usually too impatient to wait for any of you to ask my advice.
I’m always too opinionated not to feel that everyone is entitled to my opinion.
And I’m sometimes too concerned not to intercede in collision courses that would be obvious to a legally blind person.
So I’m going to continue to be an irritating, interfering and loving mother.
I’m trusting you to focus on the loving.
P. S. Your time is coming, you know:) After all, you’re a mother, too.