It all started when I took my oldest daughter to the movies. I’m not sure what year that was, but she was a young adult. There was a scary scene in the movie and I was holding the car keys in my hands. When I’m really nervous, my leg starts to shake really fast and so the keys were apparently making some noise. Suddenly, she took the keys away from me! I looked at her, surprised. She said, ‘You’re making too much noise. I’ll give them back to you when the movie’s over.’
This was the first inkling that a shift was happening as this is what I would do when my children made too much noise!
Then, one day, my son asked me to come with him to buy a car. He was so excited to be buying a BMW M5! And I was happy for him. He was working hard as a merchant marine and electrical engineer for a large shipping company. Away at sea in Dubai and other far away places for months at a time, it was my joy to be asked to come and use my ‘car buying skills!’ My ego was sailing! Then, while he was talking to the dealer, and I was, interjecting here and there, trying to make myself useful, he turned to me. (The dealer had just walked away.) He said, ‘Mom, I can handle this. I just wanted your company. I can do this. If you can’t just listen, then maybe you should just go and wait in the car.” Unhappy with that conversation, I went to the car! Once again, I felt that some sort of role reversal was happening with my children and I didn’t know what to do about it!