Can you remember your parents from your teen years? Overall, it's kind of blurry. Like a haze of continuous reminders to do my homework-get off of the phone-go to bed-be home by curfew... I know that this wasn't the entirety of our conversations for 4 years, but it's difficult to pull up random moments that aren't of them telling me what to do...
I have moments that are crystal clear. There isn't a doubt in my mind how my mom's face looked when she opened the door after I had lied about where I had been all night. Or how confused my dad looked when I absolutely lost my mind at age 14 as my boyfriend unexpectedly broke up with me on the phone while I stood in the kitchen on the corded phone and couldn't run out of the room.
It's absolutely no relief to my heart that my two current teens may remember only these moments between us. Knowing that their desperation to cut our ties is "normal" doesn't matter. When the people you love the most in the world don't fully reciprocate it? It hurts. Like a thousand paper cuts on my heart, their words slice me.
What did I say to my parents? What phrases and off-handed remarks burned them and broke them? How often did they question if I would make it through my teen years intact and a part of the family?
Because I question. I question a lot.
There are no guarantees. Children sometimes grow up and leave and that is it. The most stable of families can suffer devastating losses and scatter to the world. Being a "good parent" doesn't mean I will have a house full of grandchildren on the holidays in a few decades.
It all comes back to the words we say and the things we do. I hope that the other memories that I will hold dear will stick out in their minds. The conversations in the car... Playing board games and charades... Laughing at our dog and cat as they wrestle.... I hope they remember the many times I HAVE been patient and calm. All of the times we have had a peaceful and happy day... I hope those days don't fade away and leave only the sharp and emotional moments.
Are you guys reading this? Sometime in the future, are you, my children, searching my blog, wondering who I was, who you were, how we became what we are at some later date? Know this: I love you. No matter who you are, who you've become, how we've acted, or what we've said. I love you with all of my heart. If all goes well, this should be no surprise to you. You should feel completely assured that your mom (and dad) adores you.
But. Sometimes, things happen. If it is possible to apologize for a future wrong, then I am doing so, right now. I love you.
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