2 experts and 2 parents have answered
I'd want to know more about how my mom grew up.
How did she form the beliefs about life? Who influenced her the most? What events in her life made a major impact in the way she sees - and experiences - life?
I'd want to know who my mom's best friend(s) were like when they were growing up. Why were they best friends? Who was her favorite teacher, and why? Who was her least favorite adult, and why?
This is what I would have liked to learn more about my mom, given that she's an expert at this topic.
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Thanks Chanda and Holly for sharing your thoughts. Chanda the problem is I am not a talkative person and keep on wondering what to talk about. Unless I have something in common I find it extremely difficult to converse. As long as I was teaching in school it was not much of a problem but now-a-days I work online and more or less confined to my laptop. I do talk to my daughter once a week, in fact she only calls and I really wait for that one call and suddenly realise that our common topics are becoming fewer. Yes she is expecting and maybe then things may be different. She has done her bachelor's degree in law from India and recently completed her masters from Paris. Imagine doing masters in law in a foreign language. We all were very skeptical whether she will pull it through but she managed and how. She did better than our expectation. She really has done us proud. Now she is on the lookout for a suitable job which is not so easy. You know pouring my heart out is making me feel so much better. Thanks for including me in your group.
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I'm posting this from the point-of-view of being a grown-up daughter, as my own daughter is still 11. I find that I very rarely have a long talk with my mum by telephone, it's more fragmented - a text here, a catch-up email there (we definitely talk more freely by email). I found that while we had the usual clashes in my teen years (which extended, if I'm honest, into my early 20s), we fell into a more easy rhythm once I had children and therefore my primary role was as mother, rather than child.
Like you, my mum is a smart and savvy woman, but what has been nice as I've got older, is that my mum has had experiences (job hunting for example) where finally I had some more update knowledge and experience than her, which I could share. I could help my mum, rather than the other way round. It meant a great deal that she asked for my help/advice. You may not need any input from your daughter, but she may enjoy it if you ask for some nonetheless!
I find that my cultural references are more aligned to my mum's now. That helps. But with a daughter in Paris, my first thought above all else is, wow, Paris, you must have so many questions about that!
If your daughter does not yet have children, hand on heart I can promise that if/when she does, you will suddenly both have an enormous amount to talk about! Perhaps during this transition, it's more about checking in and staying in her mind a little.
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I don't have any kids but my mom and I are also in a similar situation as yours. I live in London and she is in India. And both of us can't thank technology enough - it helps us keep in touch constantly. We do Skype video calls every weekend that go on for hours - I tell her all about my week at work, life in London, my weekend plans, upcoming travels and she tells me about her satsang, her friends, if my siblings troubled her and we share loads of recipes too. Sometimes I take the laptop in kitchen, she dictates the recipe and I cook. And guess what, I repeat the same stuff with my mother in-law (she lives in India) too. (Yes, I am super-talkative)
I can't wait for them to get a smart phone and start using what'sapp. So I can share some great photos I keep clicking with them instantly.
I also try and talk to both of them during my lunch-break for 5 minutes. Just to ask and tell what's for lunch? How's the weather?
If you are not yet video-chatting with each other I would suggest you do. Seeing faces of your loved ones really helps.