Dear Mom, I Was an Idiot

Dear Mom,

Remember when you told me growing up, “If I only knew then what I know now?” Man, if I really did only know then what I know now, then I would have been a much better kid.

I was an idiot.

Remember When…You Told Me Not to Wish to Grow Up So Fast?

Why in the world did I not listen? I didn’t really want to grow up. Really, what I wanted was to just stay out late with my friends, not have a curfew, and do whatever I wanted when I wanted. But, I was an idiot.

I miss you telling me that I had to be home at a certain time. I miss you telling me that all I needed to do was walk Oscar (our family dog) and vacuum the living room, and then I could just chill in my room and do nothing. Why in the world did I take that for granted? Now when I just want to go to bed, I have to stay up so that I can pick my daughter up from the movies. Or, when my two-year-old son isn’t ready to go to bed, I have to tackle that fight. I don’t even remember the last time I got to “chill.” Sadly, that word isn’t in my vocabulary anymore. Unless you call “chilling” doing laundry or waiting in line for 30 minutes before school gets out so that my girls don’t have to wait on me during carpool line. Then, yes, I guess I do get to chill. But, I miss the old-style “chill,” where I could literally hang out in my room and do nothing.

Remember When…You Told Me to Listen Carefully and People Would Tell Me Who They Were?

Why in the world did I not listen? Oh, that’s right. I was an idiot. I let people in who I shouldn’t have and I discounted people who were trying to be there for me growing up. I valued the words of my enemies more than the words of my friends. I wanted so badly for people to like me that I ended up letting the wrong people influence and take advantage of me. Oh, why didn’t I listen? When you tried to warn me that I was letting certain people lead me down the wrong path, why didn’t I listen? When you told me to wait on marriage (the first time), why didn’t I listen? Maybe if I had listened, I would have bypassed a lot of heartache and hardships. Maybe if I had listened, I would be in a better place financially. Maybe if I had listened, I would be enjoying life more and would be less stressed. To each their own path, but I want you to know that I was an idiot and I should have listened!

Remember When…I Thought You Had the Easiest Job in the World and You Told Me Motherhood Was the Hardest Job I Would Ever Have?

Why, oh why, didn’t I listen? Of course, I don’t regret having my children, but motherhood is hard! I thought when you punished me that it was just to hurt me. Oh, no, I was an idiot. When I punish my girls, I get punished in the process: The door slams. The attitude. The moods. Man, oh, man—why didn’t I listen? I would have stopped with the “knee bend” when I was younger if I had known it would come back to haunt me with my son and his “moods.” Oh, and how hurtful teenagers can be. I never thought words cut like a knife, but can they. If I had known, I wouldn’t have given you attitude when you told me I couldn’t go somewhere. I wouldn’t have called you the “Meanest Mom Ever” had I realized how much you loved me and how everything you did, and every decision you ever made, had my best interest at heart. All you ever wanted was to protect me from mistakes you made in life, and instead of listening, I defied your help. Man, I was an idiot. I should have listened.

But…

I did listen every time you told me you loved me, even after I made you mad when I set the backseat of my car on fire and tried to get suspended from riding the church van to school. I did listen every time you told me you would always love me no matter what, even with the mistakes I made in college and with my divorce. I did listen when I saw you speak up and say, “Something is wrong,” even if I didn’t want to admit it myself. I did listen to you when you said life would get better when I cried every night for six weeks in middle school because no one wanted to be my friend and I thought my life was over, or when my marriage ended and I thought I would grow up alone with 20 cats. I did listen to you when you said a mother-child bond is like no other.

I might not have “listened” to everything, but I did listen to everything you said. I love you and I cannot imagine any one else being my mom. And by the way, I am sorry I was an idiot.

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