Maureen - I think you hit the nail on the head - great rant !!!

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Posted by jenn in BC on September 11, 2002 at 16:05:59:

In reply to: Some things just take time posted by Maureen on September 10, 2002 at 06:48:16:

What you write is so true.. it's all about what parents/family expect
& know of you, then being presented with a larger view of who you
are. When we leave our parents, we grow into our own and although we
still are who we are, there is more to us that they may not see,
especially if we live far from them (like me). My whole life has
been different than what my mother sees/expects me to be(my dad takes
everything in stride & is wonderful). I have tattoos, I breastfed my
babies for 3+ years, I've been married more than once, I'm open with
my kids and we all have great relationships. Very different than
where my parents came from, but ultimately, over time they accept who
I am and love me anyways, even if they don't understand they way I am
(dad has always accepted everything, mom, has had to adjust (alot!!..
although she doesn't have as hard a time with henna as tattoos...)I
think you are so right though... it's all about perception,
differences & understanding...

Hi Nancy,
: I think that it is often difficult for parents in particular and
: often other family members as well, when they are confronted with
: something that makes them view you in a way other than the way they
: have always viewed you. A visual is very powerful. Sounds like
: had a notion that you were into mehndi, but perhaps it took seeing
: to really know what that meant in terms of their having to make a
: mental shift in their image of who you are. If you think about it,
: their know of you has never been with designs on your hand. Those
: are not the hands they know. You brought new hands into the house
: this time. It can certainly take parents a while to digest that
: to even come to terms with what they are thinking about it. Their
: first reaction may well not be their last reaction.
: That your father rubbed it is interesting to me. That was one way
: for him to understand it. Does it rub off? I guess he was hoping
: that it did...LOL!!! But, it takes people a while to "take in"
: this mehndi/henna thing is if they don't know what it is and are
: first time seeing it. I remember some of my family members
: were related to what the henna stains meant in terms in change in
: me. Did I change my religion? Were the symbols significant of
: new belief system? They were clueless. And I had to be patient
: their quest to find out what this meant about me. Soon it all
: settled out. I had not changed. I was still the same person. All
: was well with their world and their sense of who they thought/think
: am.
: Some family members are always my ready subjects. Others remain
: fascinated from a distance. My brother, who is a minister, is
: fascinated with my talk about henna/mehndi and when he comes into
: town, always wants me to mix up some paste for him to take back
: him. He is not going to ever use it on himself and would have to
: hospitalized if his wife ever used it. But he is obviously
: demonstrating it and showing it to somebody.
: When you bring something new into a family system, pretty often you
: have to steel yourself and allow people to take the new thing in,
: the best way that they can and in their own time. I have no doubt
: that if you hold on to your own appreciation of your henna designs,
: that your father and mother will come along. Will your hands with
: henna designs on them ever be the hands of their child that they
: in their minds eye? Probably not. But your henna hands are and
: be the hands of their child that they love.
: Even when grown and no matter how old one gets, for most parents,
: there exists their own "reality" of who and what their child is and
: does. And the hardest part of being a parent is often when our
: children grow up and we realize that as they live their own lives,
: they may and often do and must, live in ways totally different from
: our "reality." Sometimes the powerlessness of that situation can
: make parents say things and act in ways other than ideal. But as
: change and grow in ways that seem "away" from them, know that
: sometimes that is hard for them. Sometimes a henna design is not
: just a henna design. Sometimes it is also a symbol of something
: learned separate from them. It is inevitable...but it is not easy.
: Maureen


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