“Mom, why do you drink?”
It’s none of your business. I leave the reasons why I drink at the AA meeting table.
“I guess it’s between you and Dad then.”
“Nope, it’s none of your Dad’s business either,” I stated. “Sometimes I don’t need to explain shit to you. I just want to get better.”
“Is there any way we can repair our relationship?”
As my tears spill, I tell him, “I don’t want to be your peer, I want to be your mother.”
“That’s all I ever wanted you to be,” he says in reply.
My Adam Boy, the one that I thought understood me the most, never did at all. I created the divide between us, but so did he. I am not going to shoulder all of the blame anymore. The burden is far too heavy for me to carry on my own.
There is such thing as respect for your elders. While I was teaching the kids to do so with other adults, I forgot to include me in the lesson. I thought they respected me, even when I was being a nonsensical drunk. Should I have put a boot in their ass more often? Maybe. Maybe not. Should their father have demanded that they respect me more? Maybe. Maybe not.
They think the world of Roger Darling. Me, they liken to a cartoon character that gave birth to them. I’m a weirdo.
I can’t go back and change a thing. All I can do is move ahead, and ask that they think more of me. That what they say and do to me can hurt. I am their mother. I’m also their elder. I’m not a peer and I’m not supposed to be. Someday, I will be the grandmother to their children. I will be the wise old sage that will tell their children what not to do. I hope that their children will come to me for comfort when Mom and Dad’s rules are too much for them. Because I will be sure to teach them to give their parents the respect they deserve. We live and learn, and we share our lessons with the next generation. At least, that’s what we’re supposed to do.
A few years ago, after having dinner with my mother, cousin and daughter, I got a phone call.
“My darling daughter I love you,” my mother stated in her most serious tone.
“I love you too Mommy, but I just saw you like, two hours ago,” I giggled.
“After the argument you and Meg had at dinner, I just wanted you to know that someone liked you, that I like you.”
“Mom, I’m okay, or rather, I will be.”
During our phone call my thoughts returned to the conversation during dinner. My 18 year old daughter knew everything about college while I knew nothing. My mother gazed at me as my brow furrowed and smile faltered. Mom and my cousin continued the conversation, while I sat mute and tried not to cry. It wasn’t about the subject matter, it was the tone with which I was spoken to that made me clam up. My heart broke, and I was done.
I don’t write this post to demand respect of Meggie and Adam Boy. More so to learn to respect myself in these early days of sobriety. The respect from them will come in the passage of time. As they see me heal, they’ll heal too.
Teach your children the meaning of love, honor and respect. Don’t forget that these three principles are a two-way street.
To love, honor and respect ourselves, is to teach our children how to love, honor and respect others.
Love and kisses,
Plain old Renee
(And I’m just fine with that!)