As I mentioned in my last post, Mike was out of town last week. He was gone Monday through Friday and while I missed him like mad and Kyle missed him like mad and life is just nicer when he's around, I wouldn't call our week without him impossible. Tiring, sure, but a lot of weeks are tiring, even when it's not just me solely in charge. I commute, Kyle is four (he's kind of on high-volume most of the time), and work for us both has been stressful lately, so we have tiring down.
But, our week flying solo was a lot, it was a lot of rushing around, a lot of dropping balls, a lot of collapsing in bed as soon as Kyle was asleep. I felt like high-fiving all single moms after Mike returned home, and not because it was such a hard week but because life is a lot, it's always a lot, and when you're juggling a lot on your own, you deserve high-fives. You do. You deserve all the high-fives, in fact, and then a Carribean vacation.
My dad left when I was nine and a couple years after that, my mom, sister, and I headed to Texas without him to start a new and more financially feasible life, and we each gave my mom hell in very specific and different ways until we moved out (my sister gave her school hell and I gave her boy hell, for those curious).
My mom and I used to butt heads a lot, especially in high school, especially after my sister moved out. I remember when I got accepted to college, she and I were in a huge, silent fight. We hadn't talked in days, but I called to tell her the news and she forgave me on the spot. We celebrated by going to Boston Market, something we loved to do together back then.
I imagine it was a lot for her, to work full-time and raise me, a boy-obsessed, self-destructive silly girl who stopped meeting her potential the day she turned 15. She probably wanted to come home and have a glass of wine at the end of the day without me pouting around the house, whining that LIFE IS HORRIBLE, BUY ME JEANS AND ALSO GIVE ME MONEY.
I was a normal teenager (I think?), but she deserved better, a break from me every now and then that she never really got because life is a lot and she was always in charge.
Parenthood opens up all these truths to you, and some of these truths are that our parents were wrong, they could and should have done better, and some of these truths are that our parents did the very best they could possibly do and they deserved better than we gave them in return. It surprises me which past memories fall into which category.
One truth that's separated itself from the rest for me, though, is that my mom was a single mom, and not just some of the year but most of the year. Life is a lot and it was always up to her to handle it, and I don't remember her enjoying a glass of wine at the end of any day. Man, I bet she needed it.
So, it's not that a week without Mike is impossible, it's that a week without Mike reminds me that my mom was (and is) a badass and she deserved a few high-fives for getting my sister and I safely to adulthood all on her own. She didn't get them then, but I'm giving them to her now.
Mom, next time, the wine is on me.