For me it’s my one constant memory about life growing up. I was always the more awkward, quiet friend unless we were close. I just always wanted someone…anyone to like me.
I remember moving around a lot as a kid because that’s what happens when your mom is a single parent and the two fathers of both her daughters refused to help out in any way. Their solution was to just try and take us away. I’ll admit, when I was younger and upset with my mom I used to wish to live with my dad. He was so fun and never yelled. Of course I know now and realized in my teenage years that it was easy for him to be nice and never yell because he only saw me 2 days a week or one month during the summer because he left state and left me. My dad also lived with my grandmother and she was the one to yell if needed. I think he always wanted to just be the good guy.
My mom had a boyfriend for a long time when we were kids but I never accepted him. I was afraid of him the very first night we met him (on Halloween no less) and never really could turn off that fear. I think I have purposely blocked out the majority of the time he lived with us because I can honestly say I never liked him and never felt comfortable around him. He always had a creepy vibe. I hated that my mom worked weekends and he was off. I stayed outside all day. I was so happy the day we threw his stuff in the dumpster.
I know my mother always did her best, even when I couldn’t see it. I was young and hurt most the time, I wasn’t old enough or mentality mature enough to understand it all. I wanted to be perfect so my parents would love each other again. It didn’t matter to me that my little sister had a different dad, that didn’t mean my parents couldn’t make us a family again. Hell, my dad paid more attention to my sister than her own father did for many years. My father was the first one she called Dad.
My mom always seemed upset to me as a kid and I always felt so guilty. She worked herself to the bone and was in physical pain for about 20 years due to back and neck injuries. She would cry at night when she thought we were asleep and it broke my heart. I know now where her rage came from, you can’t endure that kind of pain and be happy….EVER. I also know it came from always having to be the bad guy. She had nobody to talk to or turn to that would really listen. Everyone had an opinion though….of course.
We were lucky that my mom was a single parent in a time when the economy was decent. My mom is a licensed cosmetologist and raised two daughters on cuts and tips. It might be why to this day I over-tip. I know what it’s like to depend on the money from a tip to pay for lunch at school or for a yearbook or school supplies. I still carry guilt for feeling ashamed as a kid that I didn’t have a “real” dad. It seemed like every school I went to had kids that all had a mom and dad at home. And if they didn’t, they’re mom or dad still helped out and they never wanted for anything. I guess I really didn’t need for anything either but I wanted so much. I wanted the cool clothes and friends I had known since grade school. My sister was lucky, in that instance, and doesn’t realize it to this day. We moved to Henderson when I was about 13 years old and she was 8 years old and to this day she still is friends with the first girl she met. My sister still blames my mom for our lives growing up; she is in denial that her father and even grandmother were not as helpful as they claim. I’ll give her grandma credit for playing baby sitter on the weekend to my sister and I’ll even say thank you for taking her in as a teenager when life got harder but I refuse to ever forgive her bad-mouthing my mother. Her son was no gem and basically ignored my sister until she was 18 but now he hangs the moon and I’m bitter about that as well but that’s another post.
I was very angry with my mom myself as a teenager and into my early 20’s. Hell we didn’t talk for several years because of events and realities I needed to face in order to have her in my life again. She has always stood by me even when I was wrong and I’m grateful. I know I caused her so much pain with my selfish attitude but she has never made me feel bad about that, I guess that’s what moms are for right. My mom made me into the person I am to with the values she instilled in me as a child and I think she did a damn fine job. I’m a functioning member of society (mostly), I care for my fellow man and I always look for the silver lining. She taught me all those things.
Thank you Mom!