26 October, 2014

Never say never

Yesterday, a friend and I went to visit my daughter at her university a few hours drive from here. She started there in August and this is the first time we have been there since delivering her to the university gates during orientation week.

My friend rented a chic car to transport us and a huge amount of "goodies" for my daughter and a few gifts for her newly acquired friends. The absurdity of filling up a whole station wagon full of produce my daughter could, with a bit of effort, buy herself, was not lost on me.Thirty-two years ago, when I first came to Germany, I stayed for a few months at a friend's parents place. Their grown son, who was only a few years younger than I, came home every weekend from where he was studying and let himself be pampered by his mom.

She'd make him all his favourite dishes to eat, bake him cakes, and do his dirty laundry. By the time he was ready to leave on Sunday evening, she'd also have this care package for him to carry him over during the week.

Needless to say, my feminist emancipated soul was aghast. It took all of my muster not to make scathing comments to him as he was leaving the door with his duffle bag filled with freshly laundry clothes and the “muesli package” tucked under his arm. (I was after all a beholding guest in his parents’ home.)

I could only cope with the situation by saying to myself, “I will never indulge in such a wanton act of pampering once my children leave home! No, I will honour their well-earned independence. I will not practice such blatant and, let’s face it, easy appreciation-seeking practices. I’ll stand tall.”

Ha! The joke is on me. Yesterday proved I am perfectly capable of ridiculous levels of pampering. You know what? It was fun!

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