I couldn’t help overhearing the thirty something woman, on her cell phone, who was sitting next to me at an outdoor cafe. “Our parents worry about us when we’re children. When we become adults, we worry about our parents,” she astutely told the person at the other end.
“Matt is concerned about you. He knows there’s not much he can do to change the situation, but he wants you to be happy,” she continued. I assumed the woman was talking to one of her in laws, especially because Matt had been talking to the person first and had handed her the phone and abruptly left the table. While she talked, Matt was pensively looking into the river that fronted the cafe.
When the conversation ended, the young woman asked if I’d watch her bag a moment and she went to join Matt near the water. Then talked quietly for a couple of minutes, then returned to the table to finish their pastries and coffee.
I thought about the parents at the other end of the call, about how lucky they are to have such a sensible daughter-in-law. Whatever problems they’re experiencing, I hope they find comfort from her and their son. The young woman was right. We do change roles with our parents at some point. It’s the natural progression of life. The idea makes me a bit melancholy but it also gives me solace.