She sits across the table from me, stirring a small teaspoon of artificial sweetener in her orange pekoe.
I squeeze a dollop of agave nectar into my red rooibos, letting it melt into the hot liquid.
We savor the heady aroma of our brews, silent but still communicating in a way only a parent and child can.
The mistake was mine. I will never learn to not rise to her bait. It isn’t difficult to see that our world view is vastly different. She walks a narrow path, never looking up to see that the landscape has changed. I stumble sometimes on my journey, tripping over ancient roots that run deep.
This was one too many times she gave her opinion, shrouded in incomprehension, that I couldn’t disregard. Offensive in its ignorance, it demanded a response.
A topic we typically avoid, I thought she knew how I felt, but I don’t usually voice my beliefs to her. It’s a subject best left alone because we are so diametrically opposed. I can’t change her mind, and she has no chance of changing mine. There is no middle ground.
It’s a sore point we don’t need to poke.
She is from a generation that lives in black and white. This way is right, that way is wrong. I live in a time colored in all the hues of a rainbow, and open roads in all directions of a compass rose.
She may only be a few feet away, but we are light years apart.