When I first started writing on my blog, I used it as a way to communicate with my mom because I was at an age where it was really awkward and it was easier to write to her than talk to her.
(This eventually evolved into writing my mother e-mails when we were having a hard time. She would read them while I was sleeping and respond so by the next morning, I could hear her side and then we could have a conversation. Since I had gotten all the hard stuff out of the way in an e-mail, talking about it was somehow easier. To this day, I am still catching up on being able to express myself to others in the moment. I would much rather default to a letter or an e-mail. I also really like when people write me notes. How come no one writes me notes!?)
This blog was used as a way to communicate with my mom. When I went to college, it kept her up to date. And now, I use it less to talk TO her and more to write ABOUT her, but in all good ways and not so teen angsty.
Here are a bunch of blog posts I started to write about my mom and never finished. I almost like them best as little paragraphs!
I am twelve years old and my mother has kidnapped me and driven me alone in the car to the drugstore. This is because she keeps trying to have the puberty talk with me and I never want to go through puberty so I feel like she should drop it.
After she pulls into a spot in the parking lot, she takes the key out of the ignition and firmly says, “I need to go inside to buy some feminine products. Do you know what those are for?”
“YES,” I yell, mortified.
“HOW DO YOU KNOW?” she demands. “YOU WON’T TALK TO ME.”
“I READ ABOUT IT,” I said. Which is true in that I’ve read books meant for adults that contain things about sex but false also because I still don’t understand exactly how anything works or why anyone would WANT to do that or talk about it or THINK ABOUT IT EVER.
“Oh,” says my mom.
“I’ll wait here,” I snap.
She gets out of the car and heads into the drugstore alone. I want to chase after her and hold her hand and have her explain things to me but I’m too embarrassed and I’m too frustrated and I hate feeling like I’m growing up away from her but I don’t know how to stop it.
We are in the supermarket waiting in the checkout line when the woman ahead of us grabs her young son who is whining forcefully by the shoulders and calls him a jerk.
“Don’t speak to your child like that,” says my mother calmly.
“Don’t tell me what to do,” says the woman.
“It isn’t kind,” says my mom.
I replay this scene over and over the rest of the night and then forget about it until fifteen years later when I am babysitting and twin three year olds are making me want to scream and I shut myself in the bathroom and take some deep breaths so I don’t grab them by the shoulders and call them jerks. It isn’t kind, it isn’t kind, it isn’t kind.
I am 22 years old standing in Times Square crying on the phone to my mom because I just got offered a job through a temp agency but I got a callback for a play at the same time I’m supposed to show up for work.
“What do I do?” I ask her, knowing I desperately need the money probably more than I need a callback.
“Did you move to New York City to be a temp?” my mother asks. “Or did you move to the city to follow a dream?”
I hang up and tell the temp agency I can’t make it. They take me off their roster and label me unreliable. I do not book the show but a few months later I book a different one and I leave town and once again everything works out the way it’s supposed to.
I’m home from college and I’m at a family backyard barbecue and my cousin Michael is smoking cigarettes and he has long hair and drives a motorcycle.
“LET’S SMOKE A CIGARETTE!” my mother says.
She’s never done it and she wants me and my sister to smoke one with her so we’ll know how gross it is and never do it.
Michael says he can’t believe he’s wasting precious money on us.
We all awkwardly hold our cigarettes and my mom takes a puff first and starts coughing like crazy and then she starts laughing.
“THIS IS SO GROSS!” she yells and I stare at her because my mother hasn’t done anything remotely rebellious in her entire life as far as I’m concerned and she is standing there holding a cigarette.
She’s younger than I thought.
We are all swimming in the neighbor’s pool, my mother included because it is so damn hot outside and she loves to swim. I’m having a blast throwing weighted diving sticks in the deep end and then jumping in after them.
“YAHOO!” I yell and throw a purple one toward the other end of the pool.
Before it hits the water, for some reason I cannot explain, it hits my mother in the side of the head.
She yelps in pain and blood begins to stream down from her forehead.
I have never seen anything quite so scary nor have I ever felt so bad so I sink under the water and see if I can hold my breath forever because I am pretty sure it’s true: I killed my own mother. I killed my own mother with a diving stick.