Living with a parent as we all get older is quite the experience. Everyone doesn’t have the option. And let’s be honest, some wouldn’t choose it as an option if the opportunity presented itself. For me, it’s a blessing and an adventure. And now that I think about it, that’s kinda how my mother lives life … it’s a blessing and an adventure.
The Short Story of How We Got Here
My mother retired shortly after our dad died. Then, she unretired and has been working part-time for about five years. The plan was, after her next retirement, she’d move to Chicagoland to live with me. That was the plan. She introduced me to Greg. Plans changed! Now, the three of us live together on a property and in a home that seems tailormade for us. We’ve done well, carving out our individual spaces while simultaneously making room for relationships to blossom. Ours, as we navigate our first two wonderful and sometimes tumultuous years. Then, there’s my mother’s budding romance. And this is where today’s story begins.
Parent Dating Alert
Having a parent dating is different. It’s hard to explain, but I’ll try. Experiencing my mother as a desirable woman desirous of being in love and loved is, well, interesting, funny, and sometimes unnerving. LoL. Seriously, sometimes I can’t find the word for it. It’s been – how life is. The conversations have sometimes been difficult and awkward. Our discussions have also been revealing and hysterical.
She’s always been vibrant. So, it’s not as if being in a loving relationship has changed her disposition. It is like having a mature teenager in the house. Greg will ask me, “Have you heard from the kids?” We laugh, but it’s a real question when they trek off to Mexico or parts unknown on one of their adventures. I am acutely aware of that familiar young love energy, even when it’s between two people in their 70’s. The giddiness. Her giggles. The banter. Her excitement when he’s coming to visit. And most recently, as her car needs to go to the shop, she requested to use my car to go see him!
You Sound Just Like Your Mom!
And that is when I decided to start writing today. I felt like I was in a scene from a skit. I was playing “the mom,” and my mom was, well, “the daughter.” The scene opens with me on a business call as my daughter approaches and asks, “Can I take your car to go visit CB?” I respond with, “Huh? What? Oh, well, when will you be back?” She blurts out, “Tomorrow morning.” Me, into my cell, “Hold on a minute” as I hold it away from the conversation and say to her, “Let me get off this call.”
There was never a question that I would get the keys for my mother to be on her way. Part of my psyche was experiencing a déjà vu experience that was so entertaining I wanted to stay in it for a minute. Déjà vu or role reversal? How many times had I asked to borrow the car? The irony, I don’t ever recall borrowing my parents’ car to stay out overnight! Yes, it was another time, and a different scenario was in effect. My call ended and said, “So, young lady – you can’t be away from this guy for more than a day and a half?” I tried to have that questioning and inquisitive parental look on my face. I don’t know if it landed, but we both cracked up laughing.
Drive Safe and Call Me When You Get There
Greg moved his car from behind mine as I walked her through how to use my vehicle. She’d never driven it anywhere. She reminded me of the time she moved it, and someone had to show her how to get it into reverse. Yeah, that raised my concern level a wee bit! Her car is a few years older than mine, and she drives a manual. Yep, my 75-year-old mother still drives a stick shift! So, I know she can drive. Still, I walked her through the basics of getting the seat moved, the controls and connected her phone to the Bluetooth to ensure she had hands-free talk capabilities.
My final question was, “Do you have the insurance card for my car?” We each have an insurance card for the other two vehicles, just in case. Good thing I asked because she didn’t have mine in her wallet. I ran in and got it . . . sent her on her way with the only thing left to say as I backed away from the passenger’s side opened window, “Be sure to call me when you get there!”
Now, I need to take a photo of the registration card and text it to her! I completely forgot about that. Oh, if you’re wondering why the insurance and registration cards don’t stay in the vehicle, here’s a tip: Years ago, a police officer told me to keep those two things with me. If they are in the car and it is stolen, the thief has more proof to pretend they have permission to have the vehicle. Since then, I’ve never left the insurance or registration card in the car.
Chief Engagement & Empowerment Officer, Dr. Lisa Summerour, is a speaker, coach consultant, author, and founder of the Live Empowered Institute. Her desire is to create a space where, through different experiences, people can find paths to self-empowerment. Dr. Lisa earned a doctorate in education with a focus on ethical leadership from Olivet Nazarene University. She has a master’s degree in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a master’s in Christian studies from Grand Canyon University. Her bachelor’s degree in sociology is from Trenton State University.
Dr. Lisa also authored the “Get Ready to Work Workbook,” which is designed to help individuals with limited resources, on their own or through job readiness programs, prepare for the interview process. She loves to sew, cook, and she’s an avid DIY’er. Her clients love her sense of humor, and the creative ways she helps them discover solutions.