Is It Rebellion?

I’ve been concerned about Ma’s dependence on me since Dad passed away last May. She does have some memory and mobility issues. But for an 88-year-old woman she’s in pretty good shape. She stopped driving years ago, which is good because she was never a very good driver.

The thing is when I started helping my parents out it was because Dad was getting to be too much for Ma to handle alone. Over the years Ma’s had two hip replacements and I’ve made some concessions to make live easier for her. It’s been in my mind that maybe while helping with Dad, I was inadvertently enabling Ma to become dependent on me.

Yesterday she informed she was going out with one of her friends to return a wedding dress. This friend has been in a recent car accident; I know was her fault. I also know her son is concerned about her continuing to drive. Ma is aware of the son’s concerns too. I asked Ma what time they wanted to go and told her I’d be happy to drive them. “That’s ok we’ll be fine” I was told. Knowing her friend to be 82 years old I asked Ma if it isn’t kind of late to be returning a wedding dress. Ma replied, It was a grandmother of the bride thing, the wedding was called off and I was being a smart aleck.

Finally I came right out and explained to Ma my concerns for her getting in a car with her friend driving. Ma informed me I got into a lot of cars she warned me not to get into when I was in high school and she thinks her friend’s car isn’t nearly as much of a risk as some of those were. “Yes Ma, I was young and stupid” to which she replies, “Oh and I’m old and dumb?” Ouch, how do you argue with that kind of logic? Sometimes it’s best just to walk away before you end up with both feet in your mouth.

I’m glad she wants to get out by herself with friends and feels confident enough to make decisions without my input. This seems like a step forward from the status quo the past year. But I wonder if this isn’t more about rebellion than making the right choice.

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