I love my father dearly, but he thinks I am an idiot.
I’m sure of it.
He must believe I think writing careers dangle from silver vines in the magic forrest and all I have to do is wish very hard and work keeps coming in on the sparkly wings of wood nymphs and wizards. Get out there and line up something else! If you want to make any money, you can’t wait! Go get something else started! Granted, I spare him the details of my day-to-day scurrying around to line up the next thing and the thing after that, and I know these words come from a place of concern, a place that surely wants to see me doing well, but, oy vey it’s the last thing in the world you want to hear when you are working your butt off every day to keep said work coming in.
So, I am officially declaring that my parents think I am an idiot. There is no other explanation.
These things happen. I love them both, but I know my lack of a 9-to-5 unnerves them both every day. I’m fine, I’m fine. Please worry less. I’m sure if I were anyone’s mother (yikes) I would probably say things that made my kid want to scream: Do you have any idea how hard I am working to make everything work? Do you not see my progress? Do you not see my successes?
So, I’m sure it must just be something that parents do. I heard a funny story once about Tina Fey. Now, her success in well in the bag, no? Apparently, just a few years ago, her mother said, “Have you put any thought into going to graduate school?” If she wanted to as an intellectual exercise, sure, why not? But, can’t you just imagine Tina Fey, working hard in the SNL offices and thinking, “Jesus! My parents must think I sit around doing nothing all day!”
I don’t know if that’s a true story, and it’s lashon ha-ra anyway, so I shouldn’t even repeat it. But, I mention it to make a point. I think, so help them, parents are always going to measure their children’s success by strange standards, perhaps standards only known to them.
Then again, genealogy nerd that I am, I was organizing some archive photos of old family gravestones last night and so I have to remind myself that they won’t be around forever. It’s a tough balance between enjoying the time you have and standing up for yourself when you feel undermined. Tough call. Impossible, really.
I’ll just stick to thinking, for now, that my parents think I am an idiot.