By the time Mom birthed us, and subsequently raised two adorable daughters, only a glimmer of the woman she was existed. Married at 22, her adult life was shaped by Dad and his domineering ways. Her selfless dedication went completely unnoticed in our surly teenage years. Like many women of that era, she wasn’t acknowledged for being more than a wife and mother.
I rarely perceived Mom as having a life outside our family, until I reached my 30’s. Prior to having my own child, it never dawned on me that our parents were growing up too. As someone who bore a child a decade later than her, my interest was piqued.
Who felt her up at the sock hop?
Who she was with her friends: The caretaker, the party girl, the joker?
Did she break someone’s heart?
Did she have a nickname?
Was she content being a stay-at-home-mom?
Does she have daddy issues – like we do?
Was she a saucy little minx? Mom couldn’t possibly have a more sorted past than me. I’m not asking her to spill all the secrets, I just need a little dirt. There weren’t many opportunities for young Shiela to run wild and free, so her résumé looks like Mother freakin’ Teresa!
As not to influence you, or give permission to copy cat, parents share the redacted version of past shenanigans. I know this to be true because I did it with my kid. These lips were sealed over skipping school so often, it resulted in suspension with the threat of expulsion.
The fun part of adulthood is really getting to know your Mom. To peel the onion and drop the sanctions. We’ve successfully transitioned to a friendship where it’s safe to reminisce without repercussion. I appreciate the sacrifices she’s made, for the greater good. Who she is, is the woman we respect and adore. We can only hope our kids have the same understanding!
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