Conversation with my mom can get small…very small. While sitting at a Chili’s my mother and I discussed the salt shakers on our table while waiting for our Southwestern eggrolls for 30 minutes. The only escape I could manage was glancing up at the tennis match on the television screen behind us. I started to feel like that tennis ball and my mother was Serena Williams.

I’m grateful my mother isn’t critical. She doesn’t make snide comments about my weight or the fact that I don’t have a boyfriend even though I’m well into what my grandmother likes to refer to as my “child-bearing years.” She’s kind, supportive and loving.

The only complaint I have is that my mother often treats me like a child. She still does things for what she thinks is for my own good without telling me. She sends me reminder texts to pay my rent, and that parking ticket. How she found out about that parking ticket, I’ll never know. Maybe I ask for this kind of treatment. I know very little about how to take careful of myself if it requires more than general good hygiene. I often joke how I wish I had a responsible twin that could be my better, more adult-like half.

The truth is, I need to grow up. But how does one go about such a thing when you’ve gotten used to being a big baby? Baby steps. I’m going to start by paying my half of the family cell phone plan, and getting more responsible about paying my college loans back. Eventually, my parents will grow old and become more child-like. I want to be enough of an adult to be able to take care of them the way they have of me.

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