May 152013


Yesterday, I was rooting around through a bagful of old photos when I found this old gem of me, my brother Ryan and our mom at Kennywood in probably 1986 or so.

I don’t know what happened to the lady in that photo, but I haven’t seen her in a long time.

I guess because it was so soon after Mother’s Day, but it really hit me hard. How did I go from having some semblance of a relationship with my mom to literally nothing at all? I mean, we have no contact. None. I even asked my brother Corey if she ever asks him about me or Chooch and he said no.

She literally doesn’t even ask.

I don’t really know what I’m getting at here. I’m not exactly pining for her, if we’re going to be frank about it. I know that I’m better off without her, and Chooch is DEFINITELY better off without her. (This is the lady whose response to my question of, “Why don’t you ever tell me that you love me?” was “Because you didn’t tell me first!”) But that doesn’t eradicate the confusion I feel about the whole situation and how shitty it feels when you realize that you are literally worthless and disposable to the very woman who brought you into this world. I guess I just want to know why. What changed? What happened to her? I mostly do OK with living my life and not dwelling on this, but holidays—and the accidental nostalgia binge—always trigger my neurotic obsessing and rehashing.

And while I was having a wonderful Mother’s Day with my kid and Henry and his mom, I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of a day my own mom was having — did she sit around and pity herself because she got one less card celebrating her as a “mom”? Does she understand that other women throughout the years have taken it upon themselves to step up and fill that void in my life?

Does she even notice that I’m not around?

And what if this is a glimpse into my future? What if this is the kind of mom Chooch is going to grow up to have? What if I can’t stop it?! During dinner on Mother’s Day, Chooch randomly broke down into tears and wailed (and I mean WAILED), “You didn’t even like the Christmas present I got you!!” which is complete bullshit, and maybe this was spurned by the fact that he was so fucking tired, but you know what? I realized that I couldn’t even remember what he got me for Christmas. Am I just as horrible as my own mom? Because I sure as fuck felt like it at that particular moment.

Maybe I’m not some little kid who needs a mom, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be kind of nice to have one.  I guess my point is, if you have a mom who gives you the time of day, give her a fucking hug every now and again. And an extra one for me, too.

(You think this was whiny? You should have heard me crying about my pinched nerve at work all day!)

  6 Responses to “It’s An Earned Title”

  1. Erin, some people suck as parents. The fact your mother sucks makes you so aware that you will never suck as one. The fact you worry that you will, makes you a better parent then she will ever be. I get that being a parent doesn’t come with a manual, and some children are more spirited then others. However, love from a parent should be unconditional or don’t become one. I’m sorry you feel, so crushed right now. We should all feel sorry for your Mom, because she will never understand the amazing, creative, funny person you are. Hugs!

  2. Moms. What can you do? I have to comment on here and not fb necause my mom is my fb friend. Sounds like she has done better than yours, but she let us get the crap beat out of us as kids and pretends it never happened. Still, I have all of my life sad because she visits the rest of her kids but not me.
    Only recently after she was talking crap about me to my daughter and acted an ass when visiting for my sons graduation (one of around five visits in the last 31 years) have I finally stopped wishing for visits.
    I think it is all about being better parents than them.

    • Kevin,

      I appreciate this so much. However, I’m truly sorry that you can relate.

      And you’re right — the one good thing she has done is given me a living example of the type of parent I DON’T want to be.

  3. I guarantee you will never, ever turn out like your mom did. You are so incredibly caring, and maybe it’s because of the way she just abandoned you, but you are an amazing mom. Don’t let her get you down. It’s really her loss. She’ll never understand and get to know what a great person you are, and how awesome her grandson is, and how much she’s missing out on.

    • Thank you, Kendahl!

      I try not to dwell, and I mostly do OK. But days like Mothers Day and other holidays really re-twist that knife, you know? The other thing that stung was last week, I had a meeting with Chooch’s teacher, and she was telling me about how popular he is with the faculty and the older kids as well as his own classmates, and she was just smiling so much while she was talking about him. And I felt so proud! But then on the way home, I was thinking about how fucked up it is that my own family (because it’s not just my mom, though she is the worst of them) will never get to know how cool my kid is, nor do they care to, apparently. It really hurts.

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