Monday, December 21, 2009

The Truth about Mom and Dad

Remember when your parents knew everything? Remember when they were the strongest, the smartest and the most handsome or beautiful? I remember that. The long and short of it is that my parents are getting old. Them’s be the facts baby.

I look at my father, my charming, life of the party Papi. Now with white hair, white beard, old man stoop, arthritic hands and a satchel full of heart medicine. Case in point, I had to zip up my dad’s jacket the other day. Talk about full circle. He used to zip up my jacket. We were in Target recently and I saw my dad shuffling ahead me. I went over and gave me him a push. Papi stand up straight, Papi pick up your feet. My ferocious father is slowing down. It makes me sad.

I look at my mother, my beautiful, oh so glamorous Mom. Who is developing fat pockets under her eyes, hopelessly; obviously dyed hair and random age spots. And just between you and me, she is become unbelievably annoying. Constantly asking me questions… April can you? April did you? April you should. April you shouldn’t. April why do you always… blah blah blah. The other day I swear I wanted to not only tell her to shut up…but I wanted to tell her to shut the fuck up. That’s never good.

I’ve taken to having to tell them how to dress. Papi- Why are you wearing the house slippers with socks OUTSIDE? Ummmm Mom? You are not, you know, Paris Hilton… you can’t wear the slip dress with no bra.

My parents used to go to Studio 54 and Copacabana. Now, it’s early bird specials and the matinee. Unbelievable.

I took my father to the doctor about a year ago, that was something.
Doctor: so Joel how long have you had this problem with your hands?
Dad: Oh about 6 months?
Me: Um excuse me? No… about 2 years now… at least
Dad: Yeah?
Me: Yes.
This went on and on for the entire visit. The Doctor asking him questions, him giving this fictious answer and me jumping in. My consensus is that now, someone has to go with him everytime he had a doctor’s visit. He can’t be trusted.

Forget about asking them for advice. I look at the way they have lived their lives and feel like they need just as much help as I do. They no longer have all the answers, I realized long ago that probably never did. Our parents are human, and therefore fallible. But it’s always such a let down to really realize it for the truth that it is.

I love my parents. And when the time comes I will take care of them, no doubt about it, and no questions asked. The issue is more that I don’t ever want them to need me to have to do it for them, because they can no longer do it for themselves.

I suppose it is inevitable.

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