Last Sunday

On Sunday, it was my mom’s birthday. Last year she turned eighty-five, and we had a big surprise party for her. This time, it was just me and her, although all her grandchildren sent her messages, and she received lots of birthday wishes from her friends and former colleagues.

I still tried to make it festive. As mom likes, I made tiny sandwiches, and we drank Vlad’s liquor and had coffee with tiny cheesecakes and other pastries. And I took the time to listen to her and let her talk. I gave her Kindle Paperwhite, and taught her how to operate it, and uploaded a dozen of her favorite books and some others that she might like. I also ordered a photo calendar for her.

I didn’t feel like I made too much of an effort, but when I dropped her off at her place and returned home, I felt exhausted to the degree I wanted to cry. I am not even sure why. She is not hostile anymore, and even when she is upset, she is not making scenes, which should be a relief. It is sad to see how her personality is changing. She is becoming more like a child in many aspects, and she is becoming dependent on me emotionally in an almost unhealthy way.

The same as when I was a child, and even a teen, developed this unhealthy psychological dependency, that I could feel good only when she was around, she is now developing towards me. I think she does not have any other models of relationships. Like a small child, she feels it when I am upset, so I need to watch my behavior when I am upset with something. Like when my water heater broke, and when she thought that Anna and her family left, while in reality, we had this COVID situation here.

There was one thing that surprised me, though. Sometime between Christmas and New Year, my friend, whom mom also knows well, told my mom and me separately that her son had COVID and that he didn’t tell her until it was all over and he was tested negative.

I knew the story from my friend, and when I came to visit mom, she told me the same story. After she shared it with me, to my surprise, she said: good boy! I thought she was joking, but she wasn’t. She repeated: he did it right! I was planning to tell her about Vlad’s infection, but when I heard that, I said to myself: great, thank you for letting me know!

I got mad at Igor when I learned that he told my mom about his positive test on her birthday. I expected a major crisis. But she was surprisingly OK with everything. Even before that, I saw that she was not even half upset with the news of John’s infection as of Nadia’s. I think she still does not realize that this virus is way more dangerous for adults than for kids. But it felt like she does not want to let additional worries into her head. And I am going to leave it as is for now.

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