Saturday, May 12, 2012

Kid With The Best Mom

I am sure there are a lot of you out there that will say "I have the best mom ever".  I hope there are.  But I might fight you for the title - Kid With The Best Mom.

I was just three years old when my parents divorced.  I'm not gonna get into why they divorced and all that, let me just say that a lot of women might wallow, be bitter, and begin to settle for less than they deserve after something like that.  My mom decided to go to grad school.  We packed up and moved away from any family, just the three of us - me, my mom, and our dog.  I was just barely six years old, my mom was a whopping 27.  Looking back I am amazed at the bravery that must have taken.  I honestly don't think I could ever have done it.

We were poor.  Poor with a capital P!  But I never knew it.  Never even suspected it.  Not because she spoiled me or bought me things.  She just never ever let me see her worry.  Again, when I look back there were signs.  Like when you open the freezer and out spills 20+ balls of tin foil filled stuffed bell peppers because bell peppers were on sale 20 for a dollar that week and ground meat and onions are cheep stuffin'!  But at the time I just thought my mom really liked bell peppers!

My mom let me be a kid.  There are a lot worse things out there than being poor and having divorced parents - but if your parents handle it wrong those two things can be much harder than they have to be.  I didn't spend a lot of time with my dad... again, don't need to get into that too much here, but there were times when that was hard on me.  I didn't understand.  It would have been really easy for my mom to make digs at him, at the very least not defend him.  But she defended him every time.  Every single time.  Because she knew it was best for me.  How in the word did she know that at 20-something?  I had friends in high school whose parents talked all kinds of shit about their former spouse to their kid, in front of their kid, to their ex in front of their kid.  Its appalling!  I truly cannot emphasize enough how insanely important it is to never, ever, ever let your kid hear a single bad word from one parent about the other.  I'll get off my soap box now, that's not what this is about, but take it from a kid of divorce - it matters.

Now I'm 40 and my mom is a speech pathologist who hammers bangles and does post office runs for me on her days off.  We spend time together because we want to, not because we feel obligated.  I could tell a million stories that would qualify me for the above title but I don't need to.  As long as I know I have THE best mom and as long as I make sure she knows that I know - well, that's all the matters.

Happy Mother's Day Mom.  I love you.