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We all sometimes look back at ourselves at 18, and wonder how we could ever have been that person. How do you introduce your teenage self to your children?
When I was 18, I made my initial no-marriage-ever-under-any-circumstances declaration. I would tell this to anyone who would care to listen with the self-righteousness of someone who believes she’s the first person in the history to make that statement.
The thought continued through college. However, in a twist of fate, I was the first one to marry among my friends. Soon after I made another declaration no-kids-until-I-finish…blah-blah-blah, and somewhere along the years no-kids turned into when-we-have kids, and now we have two under our nook.
Now, if I met my 18-year-old self, I wouldn’t recognize me even if she danced with a pom pom in front of me. At 18, I was full of energy making plans for future. I imagined myself playing badminton nationals, singing in a concert, or travelling around the world. I would picture myself sitting in a quaint café reading Proust or studying some language. Of course, I’d always have bank full of money and spare time to indulge in whatever takes my fancy. They were plans after all, and planning is comforting. No wonder they never lasted more than a month.
I do not relate to my 18-year old self anymore, but I would love my kids to see that side of me. You know the carefree, irresponsible side when I considered myself “COOL” (WINK). I wasn’t born a mama, and I hate to think that they would never get to know the pre-mama me. I don’t want to be remembered as this boring person who fussed over food and nagged about TV time.
Now, I wouldn’t have worried about it if it weren’t for this little voice constantly urging that I owe my 18-year-old self some recognition. It’s like I need to remember that she existed and reconcile her with this new me.
So here you go kids your mama wasn’t always a bore, there was a time when she could sit through the entire movie without snoozing off.
You have always seen me complain about too much junk food in our life, but while growing up I used to survive on it. There were takeaway packets in the drawers, spoons between books, and cans under the bed. However, I must mention that this made mommy fat and tired, and she felt bad about herself for a long time. Trust me, I’d still rather eat nachos and watch CARS-2 on repeat with you, but for next several years it’s going to be like this. Sorry.
The other day I was angry because you didn’t do your homework. I must confess I was a back bencher all my life and hated being under the supervision of teachers. I bunked class, flunked subjects, and was even debarred twice in college. I know you will call me a hypocrite, but God has made me responsible for teaching you the life lessons. Hence, you’ve to bear the banshee screaming.
“We grew up on books”, I’ve used that line a million times with you. They weren’t always children’s fiction. I started reading Mills and Boons when I was 12, and I didn’t stop there— much to the chagrin of your Didun (Nani). I am always picking books for you now, telling you what-to-read and what-not-to, but I know soon you will learn to disguise your choices from your parents, and I am dreading that secretly.
Family, they were always important, but there was a time when I hated them. They call it the teenage years. I was perpetually angry with the world and would not listen to anybody. I am already worrying about you reaching that phase. Can you do me a favor? Do not jump off the cliff because someone dares you, or indulge in drunken brawls, do drugs, or take the pressure of education. Just make it to 21, life seems much better than. Remember, it’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of the one you don’t.
Rest you will survive. The way Mommy did.
Image source: teenage concept by Shutterstock.
Beer-guzzling, prawn-devouring, mother of a #sassafras boy and a fish-wife. Ex-physio,
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