I know someone. Let’s call her Bertha, shall we? Bertha has spit out half a hockey team’s worth of kids, and she fancies this means that she knows a thing or two about parenting. It doesn’t. She also clings to the delusion that her lies, games, accusations, and temper tantrums mask the fact that she is as dependent upon others as a newborn infant….emotionally, financially, materially…entirely. Her first tottering steps years ago were only jests. She rocked back on her heels, tore back to infancy, and petulantly refused to leave, even after the passage of 20, 30, 40 years.
The fruits of her occasional attempts to parent, namely, kids just beginning to realize the raw deal they were handed, are blamed on anyone and everyone but herself, yet even in the midst of her own cauterwauling, a pale, shimmering fragment of clarity must stab her sharply with the realization that it is her own doing, though the admission (and appurtenant apologies) will never fall from her bifurcated tongue.
Bertha hopes everyone feels sorry for her, spoons out sympathy for disasters she hand-built. Maybe some even do. Me? I feel agonizingly sorry for kids who deserve better and didn’t ask for this. They only ask to be loved.
I wish she was an errant belch of creation, a rarity, yet I know she is not.
Who else (unfortunately) knows a Bertha?