When my kids were babies they were spot on perfect.
They woke up smiling.
They laughed with me. They loved me reading and singing to them. They looked forward to me praying for them at bedtime. They loved the food I made. They loved me.
Then they turned into teenagers.
There is no preparing you for that. Even having gone through being a teenager is not a practice run for being the mom of teenagers.
As typical as they were as teenagers, I was clueless. I didn’t drink. I didn’t push boundaries. I didn’t ‘do’ the teenage years. Quite honestly I just expected my kids to be like me. In some way. In one way I hoped they would be like me. In any way I hoped they would be like me.
When my oldest was in high school there was a weekend when I was away. They were supposed to be with their father. We were divorced. For whatever reason, he sent them to my place. Unsupervised. The required, obligatory – my parents are gone for the night party – was a no brainer.
Only I had no idea they were there.
You know what gave them away when I got home?
The toilet paper.
In my bathroom. The toilet paper was on the roll hanger, with the paper coming out from under the roll, instead of the top.
I had been hanging toilet paper in my own home for more years than they were alive. Never. Ever. Did I hang it that way.
I went through the house. It was spotless. Too clean. Not too clean if I had cleaned it. But too clean for them to have cleaned it.
I looked out the back door. One empty plastic bag lie there. I went out and picked it up. An ice bag. I never buy ice.
I went through the entire house.
Downstairs all of my martial arts certificates hung neatly on the wall. Right where they should be. One looked different than the others. I stepped closer to look. The glass of the picture frame was gone.
I got the names of the kids at the party. Not from my daughter. I had other ways.
I called the other parents. I managed to get hold of all but one.
Some didn’t care. Some listened. One seemed to be upset-with me.
My kids pretty much hated me at that moment.
I pretty much understood.
But I was still that mom.
I love my kids enough to let them hate me.