Yesterday night we sat on the couch and you said, “Mom, do you know why I love you? You do special things with us and you make great food every day. That’s why I love you.”
And my heart felt warm and fuzzy for just a moment before the dark cold feeling settled back in, the feeling that I am always falling short as your mom.
Your dad and I joke about whether or not we should save for a college fund or counseling later in life. Well, half joking. Because I worry that all you are going to remember about your childhood was an exhausted and perpetually cranky mom who was always on your case.
I know we are hard on you. We want you to grow up to be a good man so we come down hard on things like obedience, respect, and responsibility.
I also know that you have some other challenges going on, like ADHD, that don’t always make life easy.
Life isn’t easy for either of us. Most days it is really, really hard.
I’m tired, so, so tired.
And you get frustrated when we just can’t see eye to eye. I make you cry; you make me cry. Round and round we go. We butt heads, a lot.
It’s like we’re experiencing your childhood through different ends of the same telescope.
For you, everything is larger than life:
Pizza for dinner??? YES!!!!
Play at the park?? My favorite!
New Lego set?? Thanks Mom!
Sleep over with dad in the living room? BEST DAY EVER!
For me, I’m looking through the other end, where all the tiny details overwhelm me on a daily basis, and I feel like I can never have enough good moments to outweigh the bad.
Sweet boy, when you grow up, I hope you will remember the good times, the times when I played cards with you, helped you with your school work, made your favorite dinner, asked for your forgiveness, and hugged you tight (even though hugging is not my favorite)…not the times I was angry, rushed, irritated, or distracted.
Somehow, I think you will remember the good, because you’re just that kind of person.
I need to be more like you because I tend to list all my failures and frustrating moments in my head and they crush me at the end of each day, making it hard to get up and do it all again the next morning.
But we have so much good between us. Our relationship has not been easy and it takes a lot of work, but we’re getting better at being mother and son.
Let’s keep making good memories together, and I will try to do better about remembering the good moments because, the truth is, there are more of them than I think there are.
Love, your Mom
Photo taken by Sabrena Carter Deal