Spending time with my mom this weekend made me realize something. Sometimes you have this perception of who someone is because of who they were the last time you were with them or who they were years ago for a length of time. For example, I've been seeing my mother through the eyes of my childhood experience with her. But as I see her now, she seems different. She is different. She's mellowed with age. She seems more confident, less fearful, more loving and more open to life and more open to differences of opinion.
I wonder sometimes if we get stuck in the story of who we think people are. We base our opinions on past experiences with them and assume that years later they are still those people. Granted, sometimes people don't change. Sometimes they even regress. Yet, it is interesting to see when someone has changed and you realize you can let go of who they once were and meet them anew.
I found my time with my mother refreshing. Like I could relate to her as a fellow adult on a journey of self-discovery. We laughed. We cried. We shared things about ourselves that showed vulnerability. We were willing to take that step and see what happened. And it was good. It felt safe.
Time and distance often provide us wonderful opportunities for re-evaluating relationships. Once revisited, we often find that we are both changed. And that the relationship can be far better than it ever was. That we can see each other afresh, through new eyes. I am happy I took time away from my folks. As I am sure they are happy for the time they spent away from me. It seems to have done us all a world of good.