So, I wrote about sex, and I wrote about my family. Not in the same piece. One in a poem at Exhale zine and one in an essay in the Journal of Attachment Parenting International. The latter disclosed some stuff I’d never shared with my mom. I happened to be talking her around the time I submitted it last fall. She asked if I’d be open to sharing it with her, and I said we should wait and see if it was going to be be published.
It was. I’ve had other moms I’ve known since my son was born tell me they’ve read it. I’ve shared it on purpose with some people. And, after prepping her a little, I sent my mom a copy.
It was kind of like Facebook — it feels like there is so much pent up stuff you could never possibly get over the issues you had with someone 20 years ago. But you can.
My mom left me a very sweet message telling me it was painful to read in parts but that she thought it was well done, and she was proud of me. I wanted to call back at a good, quiet moment. But then I had a super challenging day with my son and figured, since I’d written about my having a tough time in my childhood, I should be honest with my own mothering challenges and call her in a low moment. See, Mom, I don’t think you suck and that I’m perfect! I think the word I used was “humbled.”
Maybe someday when my son isn’t whining to nurse or to grab the phone and tell her about his adventures from the day, maybe she’ll follow up. “So, you were smoking?” I expect I might hear. But maybe not. I don’t know that either of us thinks getting the details straight is the point. The point of the article is that I had a bumpy ride but came through it, and that I know I’m a better mom for having had to learn some tough lessons. So even if it’s something of a criticism, it’s a credit. I think she gets that. She said, “I can take it,” when I told her about the piece, which discusses growing up as the child of a depressed mom.
It’s pretty cool that she was right. She can take it. Not that I think she knows about this blog (unless she followed a link from DC Metro Moms once), but Happy Birthday, Mom!