She grew up watching her mom sweep everything under the rug. Her mom grew up watching her mom sweep everything under the rug. It was what they did. Their hurts, disappointments, frustrations and expectations all went under the rug.
In the beginning, only the big stuff made it under the rug – the aunt’s DUI, the brother’s marital transgressions, the grandfather’s financial mess. (There were some things under the rug that are too big to mention here – like the time her husband back-handed her.) But, as time went on, she found it easier to sweep even the little things under the rug. Disappointments fit under there nicely, thereby preventing an inevitable argument if she dared to mention those disappointments.
When the kids were younger, it wasn’t an issue. They didn’t notice her lifting the corner of the rug several times a week, and if they did, they thought it was normal. The difficulty came when the kids got old enough to notice. They couldn’t help but trip over the heap under the rug. They’d hear dad’s harsh words, see mom grab the broom, and they just knew she’d reach for the corner of the rug.
Recently she’d come home with a new, much larger rug to accommodate the pile. She moved the old rug to her daughter’s room. The colors in the rug worked well with the colors in her daughter’s duvet. That’s how she would justify the purchase of the larger rug.
She never took the time to explain to the kids why she hid things. Better to leave it alone than open up that can of worms and have to deal with all the issues heaped under the rug. The kids got to the point where they pretended not to notice. They’d look the other way when mom reached for the broom. Continue reading →