Seriously–I was going to do this angst-filled middle-aged return to teen mother/daughter dysfunction (my mother, not my daughter) and then I saw the deal saying “outage at 11:00” and suddenly I was posting without rhyme nor reason. Pavlov had nothin’ on the internet, I’m telling you…
About the mother/daughter dysfunction (without the angst…) I’ll make it quick–
We went to get my kids, and I mentioned that for our 20 year anniversary (we have two years to go) Mate and I were thinking either
A. Have a huge-ass reception at a hall and everything and a D.J. with mor e people than came to our actual wedding. (Mom’s reply to this? “You had lots of people at your wedding.” Yeah, mom–80 people, including the bridal party–it was as route. Really.)
B. Ditch the kids with her and go to Europe. I was really partially kidding about that last one–I was looking at Ladybug as I said it and I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving her for a month–even two years from now, when she’s a little older. But suddenly my mom was giving me all sorts of grief.
“I didn’t go to Europe until I was…” *In your forties, mom–just like I’m going to be.*
“But all my children were moved out…” *Except my sister, mom–and she had a baby.* And you took her and the baby anyway. And didn’t have enough money to help me with my college tuition for my last semester of student teaching like you promised. So we put it on credit cards that we’re probably still paying off. (Didn’t say that last part. But yes. I’m still bitter.)
“But you’d have to leave the children…” (Like I said, I wasn’t all pro on this–but her arguments were starting to hurt my feelings. It was a lot of ‘Do as I say and not as I did and obviously enjoyed.’) *Mom–you left us with Grandma for weeks at a time!*
“But not when you were this age!” Ladybug will be almost four!
“Well I’m not going to keep them–that’s just what you get when you have small children!” I looked around the porch, where my four children were watching this with interest. I mean, I always knew she hadn’t approved of the last two–she was very population control in the 60’s, and I just went and blew her whole philosophy with my ginormous family. I barely got a congratulations when I told her I was pregnant with Ladybug. She babysits maybe once every three months–and usually only the tweens–she only lives fifteen miles away. The day before I had caught an earful about the last 15% that Cave Troll isn’t potty trained, and now, suddenly, I was being punished. *Bad Amy, you had too many kids, that’s it, no Europe for you. I’m not going to catch you when you screw up this time…nope, you’re on your own now.* Because, you know, I don’t know what it’s like to have kids, right? I didn’t understand sacrificing for my children when I dropped out of the Master’s program, or when I leave my babies with a stranger so I can earn a living for the lifestyle they deserve? Was there some part of the child-bearing experience that I missed the first time around?
I could go off in excruciating detail about my family and about how badly I haven’t screwed up in comparison, but what it really came down to, as I turned around and walked off the porch and into the house so my big fat mouth wouldn’t royally fuck me up, was that my life choices were unsatisfactory, and so were my younger children, and that was just a cross I would have to bear on my own.
Ladybug is currently whistling through her Dora straw cup and reading a Thomas book while wearing a diaper. She wants me to read to her. I’m going to go do that, and remember how exquisitely my life doesn’t suck, and how living with my choices can be a wonderful thing.