I am currently embroiled in a little family spat – with Mum, Dad and ‘the Uncle’ being the principal players here. Mum is one of them prim and proper women – married in her mid twenties, had her children fairly early and then gave her career a good shot. In between multiple children and numerous extended family members, she managed to get herself three degrees in total! She also gave the blokes at work a good run for their money – and came close to landing the top job several times except for the political posturings of a few well connected individuals. She and I have this love-hate relationship though. She’s never accepted that I am grown and can handle myself. She’s always tried to help out or plain take charge of me, which I have resisted with every fibre.These days, she and I have a mutual respect. We both know where the limits are – that is the recipe for survival I suspect.
Where Mum is the energetic, always in your face, scurrying-around-to-help-you-out-of-the-umpteenth scrape person, Dad’s more laid back; more inclined to let you crack your knee, so you’ll learn not to try a Clark Kent-esque stunt in future. He’s an austere academic – has been for as long as I have been alive – and a totally unbending disciplinarian. I have lost count of how many times my butt was tanned – flayed by the unerring delivery of strokes via a koboko that seemed to morph out of nowhere when it was required. Overall, the bloke’s a good guy, and despite the fact that we have had issues growing up, he and I have turned out OK after much..
The Uncle is becoming an increasingly prominent player – for long considered the black sheep of Mum’s larger family, he has finally gotten his life together. He’s now married, after quite a few years spent in a rigmarole and has a steady job. In some ways he’s Mum’s immanent voice, he’s nearby so he can haul me in for discussions if required, and he’s also an example of what my Mum fears I may become.
I, the lost Son, am caught in the middle. I need to stay on my feet and survive!