Have you ever wondered why babies are irresistible and why old people are irritable? Why do we find babies’ fart funny and the olds’ gross? Thinking about it profoundly, you will realize that life has made it easy for us… TO LET GO.
We all started as a baby where everyone is mesmerized by our charm. People wake up in the middle of the night when we cry, and it seems to amuse them somehow. The smell of our pee and poop are funny that grownups laugh when we pee on them. They never get tired of listening to nursery rhymes or teaching us the alphabet. We mess up the house, but it all seems okay. We throw tantrums, but the grownups have the most interminable patience. They even Google ways to calm us down. We exhaust them, but somehow, they say it’s fulfilling. According to Clinical psychologist Chad LeJeune, Ph.D, “When we are caring for someone or something, we do the things that support or advance the best interests of the person or thing that we care about.”
Fast forward to when we are old, our skin sag, our hair is grey, and nothing is mesmerizing with us anymore. Why do our children whom we’ve taken care of their whole life put us somewhere to be taken care of by other people, and it seems everywhere we go, people find us annoying? When we pee or poop, it seems to be the most horrible thing in the world that some of the caregivers hit us and throw us on our beds. They get exasperated and furious when we can’t remember, and they seem uninterested to our repeated stories. It seems everything we do is irritating, and everything we say is boring. It is sad that we feel close to the end, and everyone is just waiting.
We say life sucks, but somehow, it got everything figured out. According to Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W., “Ready or not, we all go through numerous transitions in our lives – living high school to go to college or work, changing jobs, getting married, having children.” We may not notice or understand, but all the heartbreaks and pains caused by the people we love are meant to give us a reason to hate them enough to let them go. The same goes for our beloved parents. Time will come when we’ll have a family of our own. We’ll have priorities and responsibilities which will force us to put them at the bottom. Life is even funny how they taught us to be independent, to someday be not needing them. Yes, this time will come, and it is up to us if we will allow our human nature to get in the way – to be disgusted, annoyed, or burdened by our old parents. Steven Zarit’s advice to the adult child: “Do not pick arguments. Do not make a parent feel defensive. Plant an idea, step back, and bring it up later. Be patient.”
In the end, we will get to decide if we will let our momentary emotions determine how we treat the people who laid their lives to ascertain that we will live better ones. It may be challenging, but we should not be deceived by how circumstances want us to react to taking care of our elderly parents.
There would be many times when they will test our patience, and we will hate being around them, hearing their never-ending stories about the past, but we should remember that they will only be here for a little while longer. Also, we should keep in mind that life is a cycle, and someday, we will all be in their shoes. Wouldn’t we want to spend our remaining days with our precious ones?