Now That I Have My Own Children, I Have To Apologize To My Mother
I should ask my mother if she breathed a sigh of relief the day I told her I was pregnant. But not a ‘Yay, I get to be a grandma!’ sigh. More like a ‘Hahahahahaha. She’ll finally get it!’ kind of sigh.
I do, mom. I get it now.
As every year passes, and more challenges in parenting come my way, I ‘get it’ more and more. So, mom, this is for you.
I will now publicly acknowledge the things I refused to recognize as a young kid. Even though you scored a pretty well behaved teenager in me, let’s be real, I was a huge a-hole more than my fair share of the time, just the same.
I am sorry for all of the times I slammed my door in a huff. I realize now, that is really annoying. Every time it happens in my house I want to go upstairs with a screwdriver and remove the door from its hinges. How did you never take mine off?
I’m sorry for bitching about emptying the dishwasher. Seriously, it takes like 3 minutes if you just stop whining and complaining about how much work it is.
I’m sorry for the state my room was in, pretty much all the time. I can’t get over what sloths my kids are. They’ll step on something and just keep on walking.
I’m sorry for never shutting the eff up in the back seat of the car (or ever, but especially when you were trapped in the car with me with nowhere to hide). Holy cow, my kid makes my ears bleed with the non-stop yammer. Mom, karma’s a bitch.
I’m sorry for not appreciating, on any level, how important it was to feel like I had a parent in my corner. I certainly didn’t come to you with every single problem, but as a mom, I totally understand how important it is that my kids come to me when they need help. I see now how important it was that I felt comfortable coming to you.
I ‘get’ now how some of the choices you made and things you allowed me to do were probably a huge conflict and struggle for you. You let me go to my friend’s house in a bad part of town, because you knew my friend was a good person. That couldn’t have been easy. You saw me come home from school bullied and miserable and knew how much I was hurting. You let me change schools, to go to a school where I knew I’d be happy, even though you wanted me to stay where I was. You put me first.
You saw me hurt when friends hurt me. That must have hurt you too.
You took me the hospital when I hurt myself. You must have been so worried about me.
You took me to the airport when I took myself on a trip halfway around the planet, alone. I can’t imagine how hard that was on you.
I look at my kids, at almost-seven and newly-minted-nine-years old, and hurt at the idea of them not wanting to snuggle, not wanting to hold hands when we cross the street, taking themselves to friends’ houses, experiencing things they won’t tell me about.
I think about how I will have to see them go off to live their lives, deal with them battle against me as I continue to try to parent them long past the point they want to hear it or put up with it. I get, now, how hard it is to be a mom. I get it. I truly get it.
I always knew being a parent would be hard. But being a mom has opened my eyes to the kind of mom you were, as I meandered my way through life to where I am today. I want you to know I get it, now. I really do.
So I’m sorry. And I thank you for everything.