Saturday, September 09, 2006

College Madam

That would be my Mother.
The College Madam.
The school Grandma.
The cool cat Granny.

My Mother who decided to go to college and university at the ripe old age of Grandmotherhood. My Mom. Yes. That would be my MOM.
This year she is living away from home in a dorm. Her university is too far of a drive. Her children are all up in arms over this. I, the oldest, am appalled. The youngest of my siblings is also apalled. This is just plain shocking to all of us, and we talk constantly about it.
She loves it. She is in her element. She is getting a kick out of going home with her sack of laundry and leaving her dorm all tidy for the weekend home. 3 days later, packing up her car with her books, laptop, and fresh clothes and heading off to school Monday Morning for the week. She loves to study and learn and contribute and write essays and be a part of college life. It has become her career and she is career oriented. A learning career.
Most who encounter her are charmed and proud and greatly impressed. I am ashamed.
Perhaps because I am jealous.
Perhaps though I just want the attention back on us kids and her grandkids where it should be. I am impressed by her but not as proud of her as she would like. She is hurt by this I know. I just shake my head and wish she'd crochet afghans and sew pretty bed quilts and just bake and cook and nurture us. Shis isnt this kind of Grandma however.
Most who hear of her success and dedication are apalled by my disdain. They are envious of her courage and drive. Yes me too I proclaim but I want chocolate chip cookies and Sunday dinners instead. ( Do you hear the whining child in me proclaiming "yeah but..."?)I want my Mom to have a cuddly lap for my son and crocheted slippers to give him. I want recipie sharing and I dont want to hear about her book list and study programs and how she did on her tests, I want her to be thinking about homey things and Grandma things.
I am measuring my Mother by a different yardstick. I am measuring her by my own needs and yearnings. I cant help it. I truly cant get over it. I want to, kind of, because I want to be truly proud of her independance and her absolute determination to finish what she started and I want to be in awe of her smartness and her cleverness. I try. I listen. I hear her. I hear that she is indeed a strong woman and a woman of this century who is going for what she wants and not letting stigma tamp her down. She is attaining what most wish for. She is indeed amazing.My head knows this but my heart has to catch up.
I called home yesterday since I knew she would be home. She was just arriving and kidding and joking around with my Dad. I feel so bad for my Dad. He tells us that without my Mom there to tell him to turn off the tv set and go to bed he nods off and sleeps in his chair until he gets so stiff that he wakes up cold and sore. Then in the wee hours he drags himself to bed. He has learned how to Instant message and my Mom instant messages him while he eats his dinner. How pathetic I think. But they are laughing and he says he is ok with it. He enjoys coming home from his work and setting the table up for my Mom on Fridays. Making her dinner and seeing her arrive in the door. Writing her emails and hearing about her adventures. I think he hates it too but he gets a kick out of my Mom. He realizes she is determined and he has accepted that he cant stand in her way.
I need to adjust to this new picture.
I need to accept the reality of my Mom being the kind of Grandma that she needs to be and not the one I need her to be.


Pamela said...


(That is looking at MOM in a whole new perspective!)

Swampwitch said...

I am impressed with your mom's desire to go to college even though you your family may not necessarily agree. In a few years, not only will she still be a wife Mom, Grandma. .. she will have attained her goal and everyone will have grown from HER experience. Be sure to send her "care packages" of those chocolate chip cookies you mentioned. :)
Go Granny Go Granny Go Granny Go !!

Maria said...

Wow. Mothers. I feel for you. And kudos for being honest. Best to just say it like it is, I think. I like people who have the guts to do that. Makes them easier to like.

I'm going to go back and read the rest of your stuff now. SO nice to meet you.

willowtree said...

Now Pixie, I can understand your feelings but I think you need to give yourself an uppercut.

Don't forget that this will be over some day and you don't want any residual hard feelings.

Nice to be honest, but even nicer to be accepting.

pixielyn said...

I told you that people are shocked by my dismay and disdain. I AM accepting to her face WT, honest. My Dad knows how us kids feel because we feel for him. But our Mom just knows that we dont like her "living" away from home. Swampwitch I promise you that I have sent 2 such packages sans cookies. She's not a skinny minny Grandma and I sent school supplies, even a cute silverware set for her dorm room!!!
pamela. yes. WOW!
Laura, yes I am that. At least Honest. I AM jealous. I am petulant. I do stomp my feet about her not being the Mrs. Claus Grandma type. I do like it to be all about me sometimes and when its ALWAYS about her and her grades and school it grates on my nerves. now that doesnt mean that I dont love her and that I'm not impressed to some degree, after all I AM a woman. But I am just venting to you that I am missing the whole nuturing Grandma picture that I have in my head.
Thank you tho for grounding me you all.

Pamela said...


(that is looking at WOW in a whole new perspective)

I don't think anyone saw my upside down view of MOM on the first post.
I'm deflated.