Knowing well

Knowing you too well is not enough

Copyright 2004 Ben S. Pollock

Friday, Dec. 17, 2004: Here’s a concept that just barely occurred to me, 11:30 p.m., a month after the local funeral for Mom, on Wednesday 17 November, following her Monday 15 November passing.

No one quite understands you as a parent does. And Dad understood me differently from how Mom understood me.

Their understanding was frighteningly, unnervingly complete, but in a limited way. They likely knew when you were lying. They probably didn’t know the truth, as they couldn’t read minds unless you were very young, but they could tell they weren’t getting the whole story.

I don’t know that but I suspect that.

Yet, there is so much, it must be said, that a parent does not know about you, because you do not tell them. You’re not covering something with a lie, when you’ve grown up and are out of the house, but they don’t get the whole picture.

How can they get the whole picture? They’re not there with you at work, coming home pooped or frustrated or relieved. They’re not there when you realize you don’t hop out of bed like you did 15 years ago, that you’re getting older, too. And they wouldn’t be impressed with you getting older, as they’re older than you and they survived it so far.

No, each parent doesn’t get shown or told the whole picture because they’re not there. As simple as that.

Your spouse understands you frighteningly completely, but it’s different. She is indeed there with you a lot, and when she’s not you tell her what she missed of your day, poor dear.

The understanding is different.

A parent — at least caring ones like those I was lucky enough to have and seemingly lots of people have uncaring or haphazardly caring parents — knows your hopes and how you take disappointments. These are the emotions that must not change much from when one is a child.

A spouse will, must, have her own agenda. It’s just different, that’s all. Sometimes you are her problem. Her eyes that look at you with love and compassion and even sometimes respect, they just don’t look at you the same as Mom’s, even when Mom had no idea how wrong things were going. -30-