Bella asks: Hi, my parents aren’t on speaking terms with me, and tomorrow is my birthday. What should I do? I tried talking to my mum but she refused to listen. I feel so bad!!!
Oh Bella! I’m so sorry I didn’t get to your letter in time for your birthday! I can’t imagine how you must have felt the whole day, and I wish I could have sent you some kisses and tug-of-war playing to cheer you up! I know it’s late but… Happy Birthday!
And I’m not kidding when I say those two words. You see, any day can be your birthday. We can all be “born again” any time we choose to be. Some people get that in a religion, others get it in a beauty salon with a “makeover,” some through moving their homes. And you can have a new “birth” in whatever way you want. The trick – and the hard part – is deciding what exactly it is that you want.
Now of course I don’t know what the rift between you and your parents is about. Or how long it’s been going on. Are they just mad at you about something right now, or is there a real division between you and them that could last forever?
Either way, what you’re going through is awful. We count on our parents being there for us at all times (just as they count on us always being loving, obedient, and grateful to them), and so it really hurts when this expectation is disappointed. And especially on your birthday! A day which of course, is so much about you and your mum!!
So what can you do? Anything you want! It’s your birthday! You can keep the silence going between you and your parents, you can send them flowers and write a poem telling them how much you need them in your life, you can beg their forgiveness or tell them you never want to see them again, you can walk right up to them in their coldness and give them a kiss, or you can write them a letter telling them everything you’ve ever resented about them. It’s all about the simple question: Who Do You Want To Be?!
There’s a whole branch of philosophy called Existentialism, that’s based in the concept that we determine who and what we are by our actions. If you take that view, then you get to determine who you are, simply by whatever you do. If you act with love, you’re a lover. If you act with anger and vengeance, you’re a fighter. If you act with cleverness to resolve the situation, then you’re a fixer. None of these is bad, and it’s best to be able to do all of them.
Maybe a good mix would be to buy your mum a birthday present. And say “You did all the work that day, you’re the one who deserves the gift.” And let her know that you’ll be very happy to talk whenever she’s ready.
I’ve had days when Handsome was angry at me, but never where he wouldn’t even speak to me (It’s just that he was speaking some very angry words!). So I am only guessing about what will work. But what I know is true is that you get to decide. And what you decide will determine a lot about your relationship with your parents from now on.
So again, Happy Birthday Bella. I hope it, and the life you’re looking forward to, is as beautiful as your name!