I figure since the Book of Life is gonna be opened on Judgment Day anyways, and all the deeds of my life written & told whether good or bad- I might as well get a head start & tell it now…this way, no one will be surprised. Yes, I am a Christian. Saved. Sanctified & Love the Lord. I am successful, married & have two sons. I am Blessed. I pray, read my devotions & go to church on Sunday. I am also a human being with human emotions & human issues. One of them being motherhood…

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Talk of the Town

I just had one of those long conversations with my twenty- two year old. You know, one of those precious early Saturday chats when I caught him after sleeping in late, and in between phone calls and running out again.
He has always been one to speak his mind-but this day, he was particularly verbal.
I don’t know how we started on the topic-but I think he was reading some past blog entries and read a line from my entry called “Quality Time”. Justin has always told me what a great job I’ve done as a mom-but this time he didn’t hold back with some criticism. In “Quality Time”, I mentioned being guilty of not spending enough quality time with my boys. He was quick to point out how true that was with vivid illustrations.
We order food in a lot, and always have. I’m sorry, but except for weekends I have gotten home too late to cook. Working in the garment industry, I had to travel a lot-and work many late nights. When my mother was alive, she cooked for us, and as a single mother, I had to keep my career going. I was driven to buy some property, and to make a better living for my boys who both attended Parochial Schools.

I grew up in the housing projects. My family didn’t even own a car. My parents both only had a sixth grade education. My father, a native of Virginia, met my mother, a filipina during World War Two while he was stationed in the Philippines. He brought his “war-bride” home to Brooklyn…to the projects.
So please excuse me for wanting more. For wanting to own a home. A car. For wanting to make a good living to keep my sons in private school. Excuse me, please, for making up for the “deadbeat “ dad’s not in "your" lives.
Whatever time was left, I went to the gym, took us to church, made sure you all were entertained.

During the conversation, Justin wasn’t ungrateful-just matter of fact. He mentioned also how through the years, many other kids always got a ride from their parent’s to and fro, and I was always busy “doing my hair” or something…

A twinge of guilt hangs over my head today. He’s right. I was there as much as I could be, but hardly there for home cooked meals. His friends made fun of how much my family ordered in, and how I never drove him places.
The guilt passed quickly as I pondered the good stuff he always tells me:
“You are the greatest mother in the world! I am the outgoing “chick magnet” that I am because of you!!! I know how to get around and be independent because of you!!! You are my Hero!!! You leave me with some very big shoes to fill, and they are high heels!!!”
So talk on, folks. Although I might be too dead and beat to cook at the end of the day, at least I am not a "dead beat" mom.Yes, you were fed, and clothed and housed...quite nicely-and loved, I might add. Oh, and remember when I took you to Paris when you were three? And through it all, you are some of the most emotionally balanced, and socially adjusted kids I've ever seen raised in the hood. So I ain't mad at myself!


In life, there is the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I see the ugly and sometimes it is me.
I look into the face of God, and He reminds me who I am in Him.
We have to face the ugly to move forward and make progress.
I thank God that our past does not define our future….

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's some deep stuff that any single parent can relate to...
I too was a single parent, and here is my response to you:

I pnce shared the same guilt of being less than perfect as I struggled to put myself through college supported with nothing more than the grace of God (which sustained me!). But over time I learned a valuable lesson. No matter how hard I tried there were going to be times when I wasn't going to be enough. I'm human, not God!

As parents most of us could spend more time with our children, eat healthier, blah, blah, blah.
That's not always the reality of the world that we working, single parents live in. However, my guess is that if you were an honor student in the June Cleaver school of parenting, you may have been able to take the boys around everytime they needed a ride but they would have complained about the old hoop-dee that you were driving or the fact that you did something else less perfect than Mrs. Jones.

You may not have been June Cleaver or Mrs. Jones but you were the best mom that you could have been under the circulstances. So, listen to your son. Acknowledge what he feels in that moment and move on. Maybe his experience will motivate him to be a better parent when he becomes one.

And, perhaps if Ward Cleaver would have come home and/or supported the family you would have had the opportunity to spend more quality moments with your children!

Sunday, 16 July, 2006

 
Anonymous Mama Sheeda said...

Beautiful...

Sunday, 16 July, 2006

 
Blogger Aly Cat 121 said...

Aaahhh, the "guilt" of parenthood. I'm a stay-at-home mother and I feel guilty all the time about what I'm not doing or that I need to be doing more, blah, blah, blah with my children. I wonder if this is something that is unique to mothers in that we always feel guilty about what we are doing, are not doing, or should be doing for our children?

Tuesday, 18 July, 2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sat here looking for something to lessen my guilt, not finding it, only finding things that say it's natural to feel this way.
Trouble is until yesterday the guilt was only marginal, today it's full blown and is almost the equivalent of rendering my life a total waste of time. My beautiful 32 yr old daughter told me that I have ruined her life, because I was never there for her at any time.
She feels intimidated my me, and dosnt really like me, and the only reason she sees me once a year is because her daughter has the right to see her grandmother. What did I do? I raised a family of five kids alone, on welfare benefits. I have always been so proud of everyone of them, they are good and successful people. Which made all the sacrfises worthwhile.
They didnt have the best clothes but they were always clean and ironed, they didnt have designer labels, but they always had hot meals on the table and a great deal of love.
The only thing I could say to all this was that I did the very best that I could and I cant undo mistakes that were made and I hope she never has to walk a day in my shoes.
So now i sit here with eyes that look like pee holes in the snow from crying all night, I thought she might ring this morning to say that she understood, but she didnt.
I guess there was never going to be a right way, whichever way i went there would always be blame for some aspect of lifes journey.
I just hope that one day she will realise what super human strength it took to achieve what we did, together as a family.

Saturday, 18 November, 2006

 
Blogger Ms. A said...

Anonymous,

Sometimes we just "can't win for losing" !!!!
My mother is long gone & we had our issues too. Now I reflect and realize that I ,too, blamed her for many things about myself-but they really weren't her fault. She also had five of us. She was a product of her generation just like your daughter is a product of this generation where everyone seems to want to blame everyone else foe everything.
Was she a middle child? That is an issue by itself as they are neither the baby or the oldest and get lost in the sauce.
How could you "be there" for her when with five children you weren't even "there for yourself?!"
I can't imagine...
I will lift you up in prayer and pray for restoration & healing for you and your family. I have heard that being a mother is a thankless job...

Saturday, 18 November, 2006

 

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