Yes, I’m a happy mother. I’m the proud mom of four grown kids… ages 29 to 23 … and a 7-year-old grandson. I’ve got several “critters” and “grand-critters”. Yeah, I’m weird. I count them, too. I’m really pleasantly surprised how everyone turned out. You go through those years of screaming at each other and thinking you’ll never talk again, but you get past it and you all figure out that each of you has a point and you maybe are making some sense and maybe mom and dad aren’t as dumb as they were when you were 14.
I went through a difficult childhood. My birthmother died from complications of polio when I was 3 and I was sent to live with my paternal grandparents. They were terrific, and when my grandmother passed in the 70’s I felt as though I’d lost my mother all over again. I can’t really remember my birthmother – except for one visit to the hospital where I remember seeing her in an iron lung.
My father re-married when I was 5, and my birthmother was never spoken of again. Weirdly enough, they made the Memorial Day trek to her grave, but it was just not spoken of. Ever. No pictures were ever shared with me… as a matter of fact, I never even saw a baby picture of myself until I was in my teens and snooped.
My stepmom adopted me – and I was roundly cuffed if I called her my “stepmother” to the kids at school. She was my “mother”. Period. Okay, whatever.
My parents did the best they could, but as I got older they still looked and treated me as though I were 8 years old. My father even admitted that to my aunt once. They were so overprotective as to make me a prisoner of my own home. I was barely allowed out of the house. Lots of bitching and bickering took place in my home, too. My father has a definate anger management problem, and though not diagnosed “officially” I’m pretty sure both of them are alcoholics. Still.
At any rate, I went through some stuff that I swore I wasn’t going to do to my kids. I tried. I ended up being verbally abusive, as my parents were… but instead of hitting the kids, I threw things around the room. Yeah, not good, I know.
When my oldest was in high school I had a nervous breakdown. I went into a deep depression and after about three months I figured out I’d been repressing lots of other bad things that happened to me when I was young that led into some bad behaviours as a teen and young adult. After facing these things I’d been putting in boxes and hiding from myself and others for years, I came to the conclusion I either had to confront my parents (who would be so deep in denial they would never admit to any of it) or just forgive. I ended up forgiving them.
I’m a much better person now.
I became the kind of person that could talk to my kids about anything and everything and they talk to me about anything and everything. We’ve grown up together and I think they’ve forgiven me for my bad behaviour, too. I really admire my kids for the kind of people they’ve grown into and I love them with all my heart. It really is Mother’s Day every day. Hope you all can have that kind of relationship with your kids, too. It is a beautiful thing.