Katinka NeuhofIt was one of those conversations between my mother and I that pays no mind to that fact that we are both mature women. It’s dialogue that played between us for many years, that freezes us in time, a dynamic I’ve tried, worked, struggled to shift over the years, but usually leaves me bewildered, winded and pissed.

“There’s something I’ve been wanting to talk to you about. How’s your walking?” she asks. She’s warming up, I can tell.

“Please don’t do this,” I hear myself plead.

“Your body,” she says, “leans forward much more than it used to. Your shoulders are much more bent forward.”

“Please,” I say.

“Why won’t you let me say it?,” she says. “Let me say it.”

“OK,” I say. And I put the phone on the table for a full 30 seconds while she talks.

“Did you hear all that?” she asks.

“Yes,” I lie.</