Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Patience and My Parent

Late last year in response to something Mom said to me during one of her visits to my home to drop some things off in early December, I decided to be a little more patient with her. Up to this point, I hadn’t been. I’d cut her off on the phone, interrupt her if she tried to describe TV shows or movies she’d watched, and generally didn’t listen to her as well as I should have.

Her heated comment of, “This is me!” in response to my statement I wanted to hear about her and her day made me aware I’d been disrespecting my mom. That was not a comfortable realization to have.

I wasn’t sure how things would go, though, to be honest. What I’ve learned is that I generally have to make myself be a little more patient—with both Mom and myself.

Mom’s primary hobby is currently watching TV. Her secondary hobby is playing Farmville on Facebook. Both subjects bore me to death, generally. For the most part—at least with Farmville—that hasn’t changed. However, since exerting a little patience and enduring her TV and movie rambles, I’ve learned some interesting things.

One of Mom’s most recent Netflix binges has been WWII movies and documentaries. Tonight, we actually got into a pretty interesting and fun discussion about WWII based on what she’s learned from these media and what I’ve learned from my books and DVDs regarding the German side of the war. I won’t call it a debate, because I deliberately resisted the urge to insist upon things as I do at times. We were on the phone for over an hour on this subject, and had spent most of the previous hour discussing other topics unrelated.

Two hours. I’ve never enjoyed two hours chatting with Mom so much. Well, maybe when she reminisces about her life and childhood. I like it when she talks about her life growing up and stuff. But I’ve never enjoyed a conversation about something (mostly) unrelated to her history or life so much as I did that WWII chat.

And it’s been like this a number of times since opening my mind to listening to what Mom has to say. I’m now glad Mom got angry at me that day in December and snapped what she did. I’m sure there will be discussions where we have disagreements again, but now I know to pay better attention to what Mom’s saying. I’m not sure just where this new respect for Mom will take me, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

1 Comment

  1. Good for you, Ashe. It’s hard, at times, to put aside our preconceived notions about parents and really listen. The same with siblings. We have a back story that just screams at us so we don’t listen. Thank you for sharing.

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