I don’t know who created this motherhood thing, but it is all backwards.
I was born in 1981. I was the fourth child to my parents, and when she had me my mom was only 22. This, is unfathomable to me. I am still too selfish at the age of 33 to peel myself out of bed on Sundays to care for my children in the wee hours of the morning, yet here my mom was doing it at 22. My parents had three daughters and one son. They thought that they had passed the hard stuff after we got out of diapers, but they didn’t even realize that we kids were just barely lacing up our boxing gloves… it was game time for us. We hit our teenage years like we only had the next four years to make as much of an impact on the world as we possibly could, and we gave our parents a run for their money. I know you might be thinking… yeah yeah yeah… don’t all teenagers? Yes. They do. But we did my parents dirty.
My oldest sister got them all greased up for us with multiple unacceptable boyfriends, stolen vehicles that were used to run away to other states with said boyfriends, sneaking out techniques that would make Criss Angel look like… well, an angel. My next sister thought that she was gonna sneak by all squeaky clean until she decided to take a short dip into the trouble pond with some bad choices of her own, but she is by far the one who was the nicest to my parents. My brother. Oh sweetbabyjeez… My brother probably took years off of my parents life that they will never get back. We lived in an old farm house with tons of land. My brother would throw pasture-shakin’, massive bon fire parties that would eventually end with police and fire engines swarming the house. It got to the point that patrol cars would drive 5mph down our country road every Friday and Saturday night… just waiting. Knowing. My brother probably ended up bribing his teachers to let him out of high school… because I swear he still has missing assignments there.
I was on a pretty good track until about my sophomore year. Then it got pretty low down. I discovered alcohol. And toilets. In that order. I was a hot drunken mess on the weekends and a straight A student and athlete during the week. I would take full advantage of my brother’s parties knowing that I could just blame it on him when we got busted, and then I would go ride or die for Goddard High School the rest of the week. But I also had a **bit** of a competitive spirit, and a temper. Which may have gotten me arrested. Just once though. And then I took a page out of my older sister’s book and decided I wanted to frolic with a guy or two who my parents despised. That was fun for me… noooooot so much for my parents.
And through all of this… the lying… the sneaking out… the partying… the eye rolling… the yelling… the endless phone calls from police stations, our friends parents, and our school… my parents stood by us. They saw us through it all. Without killing us.
So, the thing that is backwards is that, as a teenage daughter, I was such a raging hormonal mess… and I was blind to the fact that my mom loved me with a fierceness that I didn’t understand. I knew she loved me, but I didn’t know that her heart exploded each time she didn’t know where I was. That she ached when I ached. That she loved when I loved. I didn’t know that with each win during a sporting event she was celebrating that win too. Because I was hers. She made me. And everything that I did… she did right alongside me.
It is only now, as a parent, that I can even begin to understand what she felt for me. And it’s all freaking backwards. Had I only known everything that I know now; I probably would have still been just as much of a shit head as I was… but I would have hugged her more. Listened more often. And maybe rolled my eyes just one time less. Because that one less time probably would have meant the world to her.
I love you, Mom. And I officially… on the record, in writing…. apologize. You totally should have bitch-slapped me.
Happy Mother’s Day.