Dealing with your parents as you get older can be very liberating. It can also be very awkward. Both parties are trying to learn each other and respect each other as individuals rather than extensions. Mother and Father will both have to go through this process on their own with each individual child; and since I am the oldest, I seemed to have gotten all of the awkwardness. My mother pretty much had a smooth transition, since she was a stay-at-home mom. My dad on the other hand, found it a bit more complicated to deal with us as adults. Not in a bad way, but when he was concerned about us (his oldest boys), he had to get used to conveying it. So he used my mom as a medium until he got better at it.
How was this awkward? Let me give you an example…
A few years ago, my dad made a startling discovery about me that I guess he just never noticed. One night I knocked on my parent’s bedroom door to ask my mom a question. As we talked, I noticed my dad staring directly; intently, as if I had done something wrong. When I looked at him though, he looked away. I continued my conversation with my mom. A few seconds later, my dad is peering into my face again as though he is trying to detect a lie or something. I stopped talking, looked at him again, and waited for him to interject. He turned back to the television. At this point, I had the information I needed from my mom and started out of the room, completely weirded out by my dad’s strange behavior.
Now my dad is a person of concern, but has very little tact when showing it — like any typical dad, I would imagine. So before I can get out of the room, I hear him ask my mom, in a tone that was supposed to be a whisper, “Sharon… Is that boy crossed-eyed?”
I stopped. I turned around and looked my mom directly in the eyes and replied, “A little bit.”
The look on his face was a gasp away from bewildered. It was like he was meeting me for the first time Thirty Seconds Ago. I actually enjoyed seeing him uncomfortable because it was new to me; and I was the cause of it. I wanted to exaggerate the laziness in my left eye and just train it on him to see how he would react.
He could have just asked me, “Reggie, have you been wearing your contacts or glasses?” I would have known exactly what he was referring to, but because of that transitional awkwardness, the whole situation was weird. Since then, I think he has been paying close attention to my younger siblings, as not to ever be caught off guard like that again!