I am not even sure what started the screaming match between my daughter and I, but all of a sudden our family dinner turned to tears and snot, grounding and a bunch of things being said – I don't know how it gets so out of control so quickly. She's so sweet and little until she decides she's grown.
I don't understand how you can clearly hatefully disrespect someone and then be like “I didn't do anything wrong” - so while we were sitting there playing the blame game it occurred to me that I just needed to call my momma.
So I grabbed my cell phone and ran to the master bathroom. Perched on the side of the jacuzzi tub I listened as the phone rang twice before my dad answered. “hi daddy, is mom there” I just barely managed to squeak out through sobs and tears. He immediately gave mom the phone. Mom pieced together what I was saying through more muffled sobs and squeaks and proceeded to explain to me that this is normal, I'm not failing horribly or ruining the relationship with my daughter, that it's okay for her to hate me...for now. That while she's a teenager, everything is going to be my fault...it's a rite of passage in parenting.
And then through all the sobbing and hurt and hearing my mom comfort me on the other end of the line, 100+ miles away, I realized just how sorry I was for everything I had done to hurt her in my life.
I was sorry for knowing that she was weak with love for me, sorry for walking all over that love sometimes, sorry for yelling at her when some days she probably just needed a hug, and sorry for whining about what was for dinner when she'd been at work on her feet for 10 hours already that day.
I was sorry for threatening to run away when I was 4, and I regretted being angry at her sometimes when she wouldn't give in to my every request. I was sorry for breaking her heart with life choices and sorry for filling her with worry some nights.
I was incredibly thankful for her dedication to our family and her persistent hard work, the way she protected me from some of the bad things going on during my childhood– so much in fact that I'm still learning some of those bad things today, but she made my world safe and I was oblivious. I was thankful that when she recognized my postpartum depression after Grace, she watched the baby, took me to the doctor and then put me to bed.
I was sorry that she could nod with understanding when I went through my divorce but so incredibly grateful for her strength and support to get me through it.
I remember being so depressed through that divorce that I just wouldn't eat and how frustrated I was the day she forced potato soup down my throat while I was visiting. But looking back, I am so damn appreciative that she still knew me so deep, and knew I needed her, and soup.
I appreciated her encouragement while I was healing from heart failure, her support when I wanted to up-root my children a hundred miles for a better life. Sure, she'd miss me, but she was looking out for what was best for me. Just like she always has. Just like I do for Grace and for Gabby.
And now here she was on the other end of the line, getting in late, tired from 10 hours on her feet, needing to put dinner on the table for my dad, but taking an hour to support and encourage me through this year long parenting crisis – putting me first.
I started off that telephone conversation in the parenting pits but somewhere in that darkness, the light of my mom's wisdom made me realize that she's my role model in this parenting gig, and if I do things just half as good as she does, some day instead of hating me, my kid will blog about me too.
If I've never said it before mom, I'm so sorry for my teenage years, and so incredibly blessed that you are my momma.