I was thirteen the year my mother told me I was to spend that summer with my grandmother, her mother. I was careful not to say anything to let her know that I was surprised, though I was. It was the game we played with each other, the hate game. I refused to admit that what she did had any effect on me. And she pretended that she did not care whether or not I was effected. We hated each other, but we hated politely and quietly.
It hadn't been until then that I found out that my mother had a mother at all. I had never asked. My mother probably thought I was simply extending our game to refusing to admit an interest in her past life. But in fact, it had never occurred to me that my mother might once have been a child with a mothe rof her own. I suppose I had imagined that my mother had born and riased herself somehow, perhaps by merely demanding that she come into existence. It didn't seem such an outrageous idea. She could be quite insistent at time. Another possiblity I had considered was that she had emerged fully grown out of my father's head, like Athena. My parents were both so much alike, and both so much like my father's parents, that even then it seemed a likely prospect that they had grown up together with the same parents. They treated each other like brother and sister and they never spoke about a time before they were together.
Return to home page