The first weekend in December, my mother flew out to LA to drive with me up to San Francisco for my Mortified performances there. I had not seen her in 18 months or so, and as a result I was a but unsettled. This would be the first time that she'd seen me as an out (done) and proud (working on it) gay man. This would be the first time that she'd seen me 40 pounds lighter. This would be the first time she'd seen me as a fully self-sufficient man.
It would be the first time she was really seeing me.
And so when I busted my hump to get from Hollywood to LAX during rush hour, you can imagine my frustration when she wasn't waiting for me on the curb. I called her, but her phone was off. Convinced that she'd sequestered herself inside the terminal, I was forced to park and go in after her.
She wasn't inside, either. I asked the Virgin America ticketing agent if she'd boarded the flight. When I was informed that she never boarded, my mind immediately went to the macabre. Certainly no one could be so inconsiderate as to have missed their flight and not called to say they'd be on the next one, so she must be dead on the side of the highway. It didn't take me long to get hysterical. I'd had such a hard week... I'd taken two sick days with a 103 fever earlier in the week, and I was looking forward to having mother come and "make it all better".
To make a long story short (too late), my mother had boarded the next flight. At this point, I lost it. I exited the terminal, screamed, returned to my car, screamed again, and called my friend Liz and cried my eyes out sitting against my car in an LAX parking garage.
I've always loved both of my parents, and I'm grateful for them. But so often it seems that I have to be the adult, the responsible one. Now, in fairness, my mother did say she tried texting me, but I guess she didn't actually send it or something--I've never gotten a text from her before, so I can imagine this might be true. But regardless, my whole life I've been as responsible and mature as possible, acting as my own adult in my life. For crying out loud, my father dumped me from his health insurance when I graduated college... that was essentially my graduation present.
For once in my life I feel like I want to be immature, to do stupid things that I know won't work, to be wreckless, do what feels good, and learn the hard way. I've always carefully considered the options, taken calculated risks, never attempted anything I wasn't pretty sure I could manage.
This blog entry is rapidly spinning out of control. I'm no longer sure exactly what this is about, or even if I should publish it. My mother reads this blog, and I don't want to hurt her feelings. I think my mother is very strong, and is doing the best she can. She needs to learn to forgive herself and realize that she is lovable, and deserves love.
I guess I need to learn that too.
Going to Mortified in San Francisco was a good experience for us both. I got to be me in front of my mother, and have a room full of strangers affirm me and the great job she did as a mother, raising a wonderful son. But how much of it is going to sink in? People were wanting to meet her after the performance, to tell her how proud she must be.
And I think she was proud. She is proud of me and loves me. And in that regard, I just might be the luckiest guy in the world. My life is filled with people who love me and support my identity and my happiness.
Here's my mom and me down by the Embarcadero, with the bay bridge in the background.
It's strange to watch your parents age, and to realize that they aren't going to live forever. I think that was something I realized while on this trip—while I will always be her little boy—I'm a man now, and we're all changing and growing simultaneously. As a kid, your parents seem frozen in time, unchanging pillars for you to rely on. Part of my journey into adulthood has been realizing that when my parents started our family, they were my age—young, ignorant kids trying to figure the world out, and find a portion of happiness along the way.
Forgiving them for their mistakes is easy now, because when I stand and think about how I would fare with a young family right now, I can't honestly say I'd do any better.
I'm grateful for the family that I have, and for the things I've learned so far on my sojourn.
Also, this multimedia piece was done by [X]press: Check it out!
I love you all, and leave you with this adorable pic of me and my mother.