Dani Klein Modisett: With 3000 miles between us, I don't live near my mother. Which is not to say that I don't see her, because I do.
I produce a show in Los Angeles that now travels to her home in New York City pretty regularly. Not to her home literally, although I am sure me and my toddler descending on her one bedroom apartment makes it feel that way. My point is, I don't see her daily, or at weekly sponetaneous grandma visits/babysitting during the week, or for Sunday night dinners.
So although we have a good relationship, it's not one with a ton of face time. Lately, every time I get off the plane I am taken a back by the image of a small older woman bouncing on her toes at the gate to see her grandson.
Neither she nor I thinks of her as old, as in "little old lady" and yet, at 75, she qualifies. This last trip I adjusted quickly to the visuals, but had a harder time with the fact that she is not hearing me well anymore. Or maybe she's just too tired to listen. Either one would be okay with me if she wasn't so nasty about it. She's not a woman who is comfortable with being wrong so even if she makes an obvious error based on what she didn't hear you say, it's still your fault.
To admit her own culpability would mean accepting aging which is not acceptable. She picked two fights with me this last trip. In both, she accused me of being irresponsible for not telling her where I was going. But I had. I found myself biting my tongue so I didn't shout, loud enough for her to hear, "I'm not irresponsible, you're deaf!"
|Dani Klein Modisett is the mother of 1-year-old Gideon (pictured) and 5-year-old Gabriel. She is comedy writer/creator/producer of the show "Afterbirth...stories you won't read in Parents magazine." An anthology of stories from this show will be published by St. Martin's Press, in stores in May 2009.|