Back in the sixties when I was growing up my Mom was the room Mother, the volunteer library Lady, the hot dog lunch Lady, the Field trip Mom, and the PTA Lady.
When I thought about my future I didn’t imagine myself with children. But, then I met my Joe and he wanted a gazillion kids. surprisingly and joyfully I became a Mom. Two boys, two years apart. Perfect. I wanted to be a cool Mom, the Room Mom, the Field trip Mom, the PTA Mom, the Volunteer for Everything Mom…just like my Mom. I did it all. When the boys were twelve and fourteen I finally started working full-time. Within five months I was in the hospital and then bedridden…I became a “sick Mom”. No football games, no Scout outings, no track meets, no car-pooling…nothing.
My sons were forced into maturity very quickly. They became independent without my help. Their Father became a single parent overnight. They all learned how to do laundry, clean the house and to plan meals and shop. My house turned into a bachelor apartment with the three of them learning how to do things together. My younger son Dan brought me breakfast before he went to school…a strawberry Pop-Tart and a Diet Pepsi.
I didn’t take them to get their driver’s license…my Sister did. I didn’t go to the Homecoming Varsity football game….Danny was Homecoming King his Senior year and I couldn’t go…their Father did. I wasn’t able to participate in Billy’s Eagle project. My sister, my Mom and of course their Dad were there.
These two boys have grown to be compassionate, kind, caring men. They still take care of me and if I am having a bad day…one of them is at my side. They will be fabulous Husbands and Fathers because they had a “Sick Mom”. They love unconditionally, without self-pity or regret.
I don’t get Pop-Tarts and Diet Pepsi anymore…I get coffee and a bagel. Bill knows just how I like my bagels, and he makes a great cup of coffee.
Despite my physical absence during most their teenage years, they are perfect. Yes, they were forced to mature very quickly…and learned things about life that they shouldn’t have had to learn at their young age.
I love strawberry Pop-Tarts and Diet Pepsi for breakfast…how wicked and unhealthy. I miss that.
Being a “sick Mom” is unfair to everyone…but there is a silver lining in every bad situation you are thrown into. And my silver lining is Bill who is 24, and Dan age 22.