For the first time in seven years, I’m visiting my mom. And in truth, this is probably the fifth time in the last 13 years that I’ve seen her—and definitely the longest amount of time I’ve spent with her since I went off to university 13 years ago.
I’ve been here for four days now, and for the most part everything is fine. But within the first 24 hours we already clashed on what will always be our biggest sticking point: our difference of opinions regarding religion.
“While you are here, there are three things I want to do,” she said moments after I woke up after having flown from Austria to California the day before, jetlag still wreaking havoc on my system. The first two were simple requests, but the third: “I want to go to church with all of my children.”
Before I came I knew this issue would come up, and I contemplated going just to be nice. But the way that she presented it – practically as a demand – put me off and put me on the defensive. My knee-jerk reaction was to say that I didn’t want to go.
In truth, I don’t really see what she’ll get out of it. There are five children she wants to go. Two are 10 or younger and thus have no real say as to whether or not they go with her to church. The other three of us are 26, 28 and 30, and none of us want to go. Try as I might, I just can’t fathom what it brings her to essentially drag three of us with her against our will.
Part of me wanted to say, “Hey, if I go to church with you just because you want me to, against my own beliefs, then what do you say to coming with me to a gay pride parade?” Not that I myself have any desire to go to a gay pride parade, but I wanted to ask the question just to prove a point.
But after all these years I see that she hasn’t changed in this regard, and it didn’t seem worth the short-term victory. So I kept my mouth shut and moved on. I’ll go to church with her next Sunday and will be well behaved, but if she then tries to turn it into a conversation about me going more often or about getting back in touch with her beliefs, then we’re going to have a serious sit down.
Anyway, I know I haven’t been around in awhile. I’ve had a lot on my plate, both in terms of work and emotions and everything else, plus I just really needed some time to think about a lot of shit—including this trip to visit my mom. But now I’m back in the flow, so expect more posts to come rolling off the presses.