Mothers Are Mothers, Too

, , , , , , | Hopeless | May 12, 2019

I’ve never enjoyed going to church. I could barely keep myself awake during the services because I found the whole thing boring. I still see myself as Christian; I just don’t like going to mass. Every Sunday, my little brother and I would try our best to sleep in — or pretend to sleep in — until our parents just gave up and left without us. I celebrated when I finally got my Confirmation and they couldn’t force me to go anymore. I still went for Midnight Mass because it was a Christmas tradition, but never at any other point.

One Saturday, though, my dad pulled me aside and asked if I could go to church with mom the next day. He was doing the reading and he didn’t want to leave her alone. I didn’t really get it, but I figured that since that Sunday was Mother’s Day, I’d throw her a bone. Sure, I’d already gotten her a present, but he seemed pretty insistent.

So I went. Mom was pretty surprised, but she wasn’t complaining. I was doing my best to try and not look like I was on the verge of passing out, as usual, when about halfway through the service, I finally got a good look at my mom.

She looked like she was trying — and failing — not to cry.

That was when it hit me; this was her first Mother’s Day after her mother, my grandmama, had passed away from lung cancer. We weren’t that close, but I couldn’t even imagine what Mom had been going through all day. Immediately feeling horrible for silently treating this like a burden, I snuck in a hug and made sure she knew how much I loved her and appreciated everything she did for me. She hugged me back and finally let herself straight-up cry.

I couldn’t even begin to imagine my life without her, even now as I’m living on my own. She doesn’t have to imagine life without her mother; she’s living it.

Daddy Issues All Over The Country

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 21, 2019

(My family has a running joke that my dad knows everyone; this fact will be important later. I moved to Alabama from Louisiana about six months before this story. It is an eight-hour drive from one city to the other. My partner and I are three hours into the drive to visit my family when a tire pops on the interstate. Our spare is also ruined, and was supposed to be replaced a month ago at a visit to the tire shop. It takes about three hours to get to the tire shop from the interstate and to get news about the state of our tires. At this point, it’s not looking hopeful. The salesman tells us the tire and spare are both no good, and he has none in the same size. But, LUCKILY, he has a tire that was special ordered to be picked up that day, but the man who ordered it had to reschedule pickup for a few days longer. So, he sells us the tire and reorders for the other customer. We are paying, and the guy asks where we are headed:)

Me: “I’m from [City] in Louisiana, so we’re going to visit my family.”

Salesman: “That’s where I was born and raised. Who’s your kin?”

Me: “[Last Name].”

Salesman: “Oh, I went to high school with a [Dad], [Aunt], and [Cousin].

(My partner starts laughing while I just sigh.)

Me: “My dad is [Dad]. And he does literally know everyone, no matter where I go!”

Please Remember To Rewind Your Bundles Of Joy

, , , , , , | Related | January 3, 2019

(After years of trying to adopt, my parents are about to give up on the idea of “kids,” when I am suddenly “put on the market,” as it were. The whole process is a rather rushed affair, so not everyone my parents’ know hears about my homecoming beforehand. One of our next-door neighbors is a very nice woman who’s always been very friendly towards our family. On a side note, this takes place shortly after home video devices have become more commonplace.)

Neighbor: “So, what are you guys getting each other for Christmas?”

Mom: *trying not to laugh* “Something pretty special… and expensive.”

Neighbor: “A new vacuum cleaner?”

Mom: “Smaller, and more expensive.”

Neighbor: “I know! You’re finally getting a VCR!”

Mom: *trying even harder not to grin* “Looks like you’ll just have to come over tomorrow and see.”
(You can imagine our neighbor’s surprise when she saw a five-month-old baby girl, instead! Apparently, my parents had always been a bit slow to update their tech, because several other people also thought I was a VCR!)

You Never Understand Parenting Until You Become One

, , , , , | Friendly | November 23, 2018

(Not long after having my first baby, I am visiting with my cousin, who has two children of his own. My husband and I ask about local motels in the area to stay overnight in, and my cousin invites us to stay with his family. We are unloading so much luggage out of the car.)

Me: “I’m sorry there’s so much; we had to bring a lot more than normal because of [Baby].”

Cousin: *laughing* “You don’t need to apologise to me; I’m a parent, too.” *more serious* “I was an absolute a**hole to my friends when they had babies; I kept telling them that they shouldn’t let the babies run their lives. I would let them have it whenever they told me they couldn’t go out with me or go partying because the baby was sick or too tired. After we had [First Daughter], I went around to each of them and apologised for being such a d**k to them.”

Old Man Behaves Like Big Baby When Confronted With A Real One

, , , , , | Working | November 9, 2018

We just returned from the hospital after the birth of our son. The birth itself started at 5:00 pm and took over 24 hours. Naturally, even after one week in the hospital my wife is merely holding on, trying to get as much sleep at a time and generally moving like a robot with a near-dead battery.

Nevertheless, we decide to go grocery shopping; after a week in the hospital we have almost nothing fresh left at home.

The baby is not very content with the first drive in the stroller and decides that he definitely needs to be held in someone’s arms — otherwise he screams his head off — so I carry him through the store, which, of course, means my wife needs to handle all the produce.

Due to our lack of mobility we decide to use a traditional register as opposed to the self-scanning we regularly use. While my wife is very slowly putting the products on the conveyor belt, an old couple behind us simply starts to load their items on the belt, which means we can no longer place our remaining items, as the belt moves much faster than my wife. Luckily, she manages to put most of it on the belt and simply tells the cashier what’s left in the cart so she can ring it up manually.

After she manages to grab the wallet out of my pocket and pay for our stuff, we start loading the items into our stroller, which is empty due to the baby in my arms.

Naturally, the old man behind us decides it’s now his turn to bag his items, as well, and he literally pushes past my wife while mumbling, “I need to get my groceries, too, you know!”

The cashier, an older woman I never perceived as very friendly before, sternly looks at my wife and tells her to go home and sit down for a while. She literally leaves the old guy’s wife standing there waiting to pay for her items, exits her booth, and helps my wife to load the remaining items into our cart.

I have never ever seen any cashier bagging items in this country where the customer is expected to do this himself. Thank you very much for the support in our difficult situation. The longer I am a parent, the more I feel that only people who have kids themselves know how tough certain situations are.

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