If you ask my mom what I was like as a baby, she'd say, "Sara? She put us on a schedule. She told us when she wanted to eat, when she wanted to sleep...", and she'd be making this chopping motion with her hand the whole time she was saying it. (It's true, isn't it, Mom?)
So my parents can't be TOO surprised, when, 35 years later, I'm still trying to tell them what to do, or how to think, or what not to think, or what not to do.
(A quick aside - Deirdre and I went to the playground recently with my sister and her son, and met another little girl and her grandfather. We were talking about girls being more assertive than boys at this age (2 years old+), and I made the comment that, "some of us stayed bossy longer than others." Admitting it is half the battle, right?)
But back to my parents.
I was expecting company last week. I thought I had scheduled the house cleaners to come the day before my friends were to visit, but for various reasons (primarily a mix-up of dates on my part), the cleaners didn't make it. (They did, but not on the day I was expecting them...so the day they did come, we weren't available to let them clean.)
So I resigned that I would just have to do the cleaning myself (Johnny was out of town during this episode), and I tried my best to spread the tasks out over the course of two days, so that I wouldn't get too tuckered out. After the end of day one, Deirdre and I happened to skype my mom and dad, and I was catching them up on my mix-up with the cleaners.
They, of course, jumped at the opportunity to tell me not to overdo. Simply make my bed, my mom said, my guests would understand. My dad agreed, reminding me that it wasn't the clean house my guests were coming to see.
Well, being the stubborn, driven young (or not so young) lady that I am, I jumped at the chance to fight back - determined not to let lupus make me feel like an exception. Again.
To their kind words, I spat back , "Just for once, can you not think of me as your daughter, or as someone who has lupus? Just think of me as someone who's expecting guests, and who wants her house to be neat and tidy when those guests arrive. That's not too much to ask, is it?!"
There. I told them. Or did I?
I mean...I am their daughter, aren't I? Always have been and always will be. How can I expect them to suddenly think of me as anything else?
And as for the whole lupus thing. Well - I do have lupus, don't I? And whether I like it or not, that does change things, particularly when it applies to stressing myself out or working like a dog to make sure my house is spic and span.
Sometimes it makes me mad that my mom and dad wouldn't try the same thing with my sister. The subject of doing too much or overexerting herself just wouldn't come up. In fact, they'd probably tell her to be sure not to miss the laundry room. The same rules just don't apply to my sister.
But then again, I'm not my sister, am I?
(Right now, my parents are probably saying, "Yes, thank goodness we don't have two of you to contend with!")
So to my poor parents - I say, thanks, once again, for a lesson is not doing too much for the sake of my health. And to my daughters, Deirdre and Bernadette, I say I can only hope that you will love your mom and dad half as much as I love mine.
I wonder if that's even possible?