Today I was brunched. I love a brunch! Not for the food- but for the laughter! Especially when I am accompanied by my grown children and growing grandkids. It reminds me that they turned out ok, in spite of my mothering skills.
I was a mother at 17 (shotgun wedding at 16) and really grew up with my kids. The marriage dissolved after 10 years- I give it an A for effort. Young love is not always the love. I became a divorce/single parent statistic; I raised my two kids in a bright blue, 3-bedroom, rented townhouse. My son played soccer instead of hockey since cleats were cheaper than skates and hockey padding. Once old enough to babysit, my daughter would buy many of her own clothes.
Being a young mother meant I had a tons of energy. I was able to take them to soccer and basketball games and manage my daughter’s baseball team. I had also gone back to school to study Biological Sciences and often, with the kids tucked away in their beds, spent late hours at the kitchen table to complete assignments. If this makes me sound like some kind of saint, let me tell you I was far from it. Those were some of my darkest times. I struggled with my own identity and I was not always there for them. I’m chagrined. Looking back, I see that I raised them while wrestling with my own inner demons- challenged by an emotionally weak period of my life.
I was super surprised to become an OMA for the first time at the age of 35 (Oma sounded younger to me and I wasn’t ready for the grandma label at that age) and I often got mistaken for their mother. I volunteered for a field trip at my granddaughter’s school when she was about seven. I started to get odd looks from the other school children when, finally, a little boy come up to me. He asked me if I was a grandma; I nodded that I was, he ran back to his mates and yelled, “she really is a grandma!” My granddaughter explained, that since most of her classmate’s mothers were my age or older, none of the kids would believe her, so, she bet them all a dollar that I was indeed, her grandma. (yes-a lesson ensued)
Just last weekend I attended that same granddaughter’s high school graduation.
I am so thrilled and relieved that, in spite of all the craziness back then, my children turned out to be responsible adults raising families of their own.
And yet…I still remember the smell…of their hair…as they sat on my lap.
Happy Mother’s Day!!