Tuesday, January 12, 2010

They Don't Bring Me Flowers Anymore

It's happened.

I did that thing. That thing you always say you'll never do. I became that person. The person you swear you'll never turn into but that is now staring back at you in the mirror. I said them. The words you vow never to utter.

"I haven't heard from you in a long time, so I called - you know - because I was worried." which as we all know is just as good as saying "You never call me," but that's just between you and me and the lamp post and a whole bunch of online people. But don't tell anyone else, ok?

Yes. I have turned into the mother I swore I'd never be. There, said. Admitted. Head hung in shame. Forced to eat some ice cream for comfort. Never to wear real pants again. All because I have turned into the mother of adult children and they no longer want to hang out with me.

Notice I didn't say I have turned into my mother, because if I had turned into my mother I wouldn't be writing this blog post because (a) my mother had to learn to use the microwave after my father died and to this day I'm not sure she knows what a computer is for exactly and (b) my mother didn't call or say she was worried, or concerned or even - well, call. Her kids did the calling and if for some reason we didn't, years could go by. I'm not kidding. Years. She wore the tiara, and you can bet she wasn't letting you forget it.

So, I have turned into the mother that helped Amy make a little cash, the one that leaves those messages on the machine and if by chance a real child does answer, I make sure to sound a little rejected, slightly worried and now relieved to hear the voice of someone who is alive and unharmed. Because when someone doesn't check in regularly, well what can one be expected to think? There are wolves and children-eating witches you know.

So my kids are older now - all grown up and because I probably can't relate to recent pop culture and I don't know all the latest songs and artists and I don't watch endless episodes of reality shows, there's really nothing to talk about and so they call each other instead. And instead of patting myself on the back and congratulating myself on doing such a great job at parenting, the ultimate proof being my very independent life adjusted adult children, I sit around moping and remembering when I braided their hair and tied their shoes and stuffed them into leotards and tights for the dance recital.

Then I remember three girls fighting to the death every morning for bathroom time, grumbling at the table every night because someone hated something, realizing I had nothing (without dried spit up on it) to wear in public. Forgetting how to talk in a normal (rather than high-pitched sing-songy) voice. Worrying every single minute they were out of my sight. sibling wrestling, vomiting from the top bunk, the broken arm, the braces, the boys that broke hearts, the ones I had to scare away. Wood paneling, station wagons, and everything plastic and oversized and colored in bright yellow, orange, green, blue and red. Doing things I'd never do and putting up with things I'd never have put up with if not for them - and that's when I think - yeah, everything's fine. It's cool.

It's exactly the way it's supposed to be.

Comic found here


  1. I loved hearing from you!

    I can relate to this post. My son will be 18 in Feb. and I'll have 3 teenagers this year.

    I still have wood paneling and plastic cups though. I hope it won't always be that way for me.
    Oh, the vomiting from the top bunk has to be the worst thing ever to clean up. Been there, done that! Ew.

    I wish I could send you some flowers today.


  2. So nice, thank you!

    RE: bunk bed vomit - yes and the child in the lower bunk was vomit phobic. It was horrible.

  3. Have you seen the things these people call "skirts" these days? It's like they cut the top off a sock and wriggled into it.

    Turn on a light or you'll ruin your eyes.

  4. Susan - Poor Studly and Sugarplum. You've been practicing.


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