11 Sep When Children Dont Love You Anymore. Dammit.
2015 technology is great. It means you can talk to your children any time you want to – even after they move away from home – and it doesnt cost you a cent. (Okay, not quite true because internet costs many cents but its still cheaper than the long distance phone calls we had to rely on when we were kids.) I have this marvellous thing on my phone called Whats App and with it I can message, call AND send hearts and smiley faces to Big Son and Big Daughter allllllllllll day, every day.
The problem is though, when your children dont message, call and send you hearts ALLLLLLLLLL day, every day. Instead, they call me never. They message me only sometimes. And when they do, its only smalltalk, superficial stuff. Like nothing soulful or super descriptive or anything that takes more than a minute to read.
Instead, I get random messages out of the blue – ‘Hi Mum. I got my ears pierced today.’ With a photo of aforementioned ears. From a girl who as recently as last year, couldnt even cross the road in downtown Apia without me to escort her. I want to yell, Whaddyamean you got your ears pierced??!! You didnt ask me? You didnt tell me beforehand? And inside, my #loserSadMother heart is really saying, You’re my baby. How could you get holes punched in your ears without me to hold your hand? Without me to cheer you on and take you for ice cream after?
It means, I see random photos of my child on Instagram – going to fabulous fairs, parades, shows etc with his friends and yet when I messaged him hopefully, How was your day? All he said was, Fine. I want to yell, It’s not fine! Your day was shamahzing and you’re doing all these cool things without us and I order you to STOP HAVING FUN immediately! And inside my #LoserSadMother heart is really saying, I remember when you wanted to tell me every minute detail of your day at preschool and I had to listen and pretend to be super interested even when I wasnt…And now, you could be climbing Mt Everest and you probably wouldnt think to tell me.
It was all too much for me the other day and I had a mini-meltdown to the Hot Man. “Our children dont care about us anymore,” I wailed. “They dont miss us, they dont message us, they dont call, they dont even think about us anymore.”
The Hot Man was puzzled. “What do you mean? We talked to them last week.”
I shook my head, “That was ages ago. That doesnt count this week. I want to know how theyre feeling now. What theyre thinking today.”
He still looked befuddled by my angst. “We do know. They message me all the time.”
My tears dried up real quick as I got angry about all the secret conversations he was having with MY children, who grew in MY uterus dammit, who kept ME up all night with their crying/growing/fevering/puking problems throughout my lifetime of servitude as their mother. “What??!! They’re messaging you? Why didnt you tell me? What did they say? What are they doing? What are they feeling? What are they worrying about this week? Let me see your phone.”
He handed over his phone (like he had a choice) and showed me his messages from Big Daughter.
Lots of smiley faces. Lots of flowers and hearts.
A single line – Miss u! Love u!
I scoffed. “Those?! I got those too. But those arent REAL messages. Theyre not REAL meaningful conversation. She’s not really telling us anything!”
He was still confused. “Yes she is. She’s telling us she loves us. And those smiley faces are her saying hello. I get those every day. And I send her a smiley face back and say I love u.”
I threw my hands up in disgust. “I love you?! A smiley face?! What the hell does that tell us???!!! Nothing. Who cares about hearts and I love you? Eh. I want to know about her friends and her schoolwork and her teachers and her cousins and how she’s coping with the new school and what essays she’s writing for history and if anybodys being mean to her and if there’s any boys that she likes. I want her to ask my advice and need my opinion. I want her to TALK TO ME and TELL ME EVERYTHING DAMMIT! Im not a part of her life any more and it’s breaking my heart!”
Tears. Sad, frustrated ones because he wasnt getting it. And because my children dont care about me #sniffSniff.
He left me crying in the room. Five minutes later I got a message from Big Daughter.
“What’s wrong? Dad said I have to talk to you?”
Because my daughter has no clue how to be subtle.
Then another PING as she messaged again.
“Are you mad at me? What did I do? Hello?? Are you there? Why did Dad tell me to message you IMMEDIATELY?”
Then another message. This one from Big Son.
“Hi Mum. Hope youre having a good day. Today I had a lecture in the morning and it was very interesting. We’re studying blah blah blah…Its cold here so Im wearing that jacket you bought me…Tonight Im going to the movies with blah blah blah…”
At least the boy was trying to pretend like giving me a recount of his every move was his idea.
I yelled out, “Dammit Darren!! Did you just tell my kids they had to message me?”
He re-appeared. He wasnt confused anymore. Now he was exasperated. “Yes I did. Isnt that what you wanted them to do?”
“Yes I want them to talk to me but I want them to talk to me because they WANT TO, not because you told them to! You’re not helping.”
It was his turn to throw his hands up in the air in disgust and walk out.
There was only one appropriate response to my dutiful messages from my dutiful children. I sent them both a smiley face and a heart.
“Love u. Miss u.”