One of the curious hazards of ‘going home’ is the reemergence of old child-parent dynamics. I am in town for a high school reunion, but I might as well be the age I was when I attended it. It’s amusing to see the parents ‘treat me like a kid” again.  Do other 52yo people get this when they visit their aging parents?

Father insists on driving me places rather than loaning me the car. He explains the weather is bad and I am not used to driving in the wet (coming from a man who has suspect eyesight and who doesn’t drive after dark). This is not ‘control’, this is he wanting to take care of his kids. Landsakes, he wants to drive me to and from my high school reunion as if he was dropping me off for school back in the 70s!

Mother does her bit at well. I merely voice wanting something and she starts for the kitchen. Her locomotion is not good; I tell her I can get it myself but ‘it is no fuss” and besides I don’t know where things are (as if I haven’t lived here).  My offers to help make dinner/clean up etc. also deflected with rationales there isn’t enough room in the kitchen for two etc. Again this isn’t control (or questions about me competency to toast an english muffin); this is about her happy to mother me.

Although it feels a tad ridiculous to be treated like a 16yo I know better than to challenge them. They like taking care of their kids, even if they don’t seem to realize at times we are all well over forty (and well over four feet).

I just hope I don’t die from embarrassment this evening when dad drops me off at the high school reunion.

Come to think of it, I felt embarrassed when he dropped me off at high school back in the late 70s.  Who says you can’t go home?