Everyday that my children grow is a day that I look at them, sigh, and say to myself, “God. When did they get so ass-like? What the hell happened here?” They remind me of someone…oh right. Me as a young girl. I should call my parents and say sorry…like every day.
Last week I went on an all day field trip with my fourth grader. A month ago my presence on this adventure was vital-like life or death to her. I made arrangements for the twins to be babysat so that I didn’t have to break my oldest daughter’s tweeny little heart. The day before the field trip she asked me if I could just stay home. She said she would be “hanging” with her friends for most of the day. Nope. I’m going kid. And if you don’t watch it, I’m gonna make you hold my hand all day long. Maybe we should do mommy-daughter matching outfits? No?
Then on the chilly morning of the field trip I forced her to wear boots and a coat. She scowled. I arranged her ponytail too high atop her little, blonde head. She raged. I forced her to walk into the school with me. I could actually feel the disdain surging from her fifty pound body. She was pissed. Really pissed. Here I was just following her around, giving her my love and attention and ruining her life.
I didn’t sit with her and her “girls” on the bus. For the first hour of the field trip I avoided contact with my own child and just watched her as she chatted with friends, walked fifteen feet ahead of me and basically ignored my existence. I started thinking back to my pre-teen and teen years. I was such an asshole. I did the same thing to my mom, who was the best mom a kid could ever pray for. How many times did I make her sit in another booth at a restaurant and then pick the check up for my friends and I? Or walk behind us chicks as we tried to act cool in the mall, and drive us around like the hired help never interrupting or interjecting into our teen talk. How in the hell did she never slap the shit out of me! She really is an angel.
I’m sure as each daughter of mine was born her ear-to-ear grin was two fold: part madly in love with her new grand baby and part Karma is a bitch kiddo. Really though as I transition into the tween parenting years I do want to apologize to my mom (really both of my parents) for all of the shit I put them through. I am so thankful that they still like me, I hope that after all is said and done I still like my girls.
So my dearest mother, here is my I’m-So-Sorry-List.
Mom, I am so sorry for:
All of the times that you never actually ate a meal sitting down.
All of the meals you prepared for us only to have us kids shriek, “EWWWW! GROSS!” before we even stepped in the kitchen.
The times you spent your hard earned money on my clothing and I rolled my tear-filled eyes and told you those shoes weren’t cool. You really should have chucked one at me.
The times you tried to make me look presentable and I insisted that I knew more about fashion than you…at age twelve.
The steps you walked behind my friends and I because you were not “cool.” You are the coolest. We were assholes. Thanks for shuffling behind us and making sure we didn’t get kidnapped.
The sporting events you wasted your life at sitting, watching, clapping, encouraging and then getting snapped at on the car ride home because we were in bad moods over a loss or a sub par performance.
The times we came home later than our curfew and you had to stay up wondering where the f#ck we were. I’ll never live through those years unmedicated.
Pitting you and Dad against each other every single time something didn’t go my way and then usurping any private time you both needed to work through those marital issues we kids created.
The countless formal dances you bought dresses and shoes for. The hundreds of suggestions you made that got you sassed at because I was frustrated and took it all out on you when you were just trying to give me the world. (Really though looking back at my dress and hair from Freshman year prom I suspect you got your revenge.)
Speaking of the world: the massive amounts of money you and dad sacrificed on my education and my wedding all while acting like it was truly your pleasure to do so. I hope you know that I get it now. It was no small feat and you just did it, because you loved me so much and were willing to put your children before your self. Always.
Just know that every time one of my kids treats me like shit I think of you, and I get a little pang of guilt for all the times I was that kid. I love and appreciate you mom (and dad) more than words can express, especially now that I am grown and less stupid and selfish. If I live through the teen years maybe my kids will adore me in adulthood the way I adore you.
Happy Mother’s Day Mags.