Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dear Boy-child *OR* One Mother's Guilt

Dear Boy-child,

Sunday was your 13th birthday. I know I didn't do anything - really - to help you celebrate. I feel awful about it. My reasoning still stands, however. You've got to make an effort in your room, and with your other chores. We talked several times about consequences, and, unfortunately, that meant no major birthday celebration on a momentous birthday which should have been celebrated in a big way. You only become a teenager once in your life. I'm not blaming you for anything. I was just trying to be consistent in my parenting and discipline. But in hindsight, we should have celebrated. I'm so sorry. I know you feel let down. And I definitely feel like an awful mother.

I remember my own 13th birthday. My mom and dad (your Grandma Mary and Grandpa Bruce) purchased a huge motor home and took off on a trip across the country to see the sights. They were gone for several weeks, which happened to mean they were gone for the entire month of October and, therefore, gone for my birthday. I was so upset they weren't there, and to this day, it still bothers me. What I didn't understand at the time was how sick Grandma Mary really was. I guess they figured they should take the opportunity to go on that trip while she still felt well enough to go. I have postcards - tucked away, safely - from them, during that trip. I'll show them to you some day. They're painful for me to look at, because they remind me of my mom, and some of them are in her handwriting, and also because of my stupid missed birthday. Sometimes, I imagine they smell like her...which is probably weird.

But I'm not dying. I'm not even sick. Your father and I did not take a whirlwind trip across the country and leave you with family members and friends to take care of you. We should have celebrated your 13th birthday.

I'm sorry.

I love you so much. I am so proud of the young man you are. You make me a better person; I mean that quite literally.

Thank you for being you.


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