Carmen M Colon’s candid letter to her sons about trials and triumphs of divorce, single parenting and raising boys.
Mom’s at it again. She’s trying to save the world and she left the house without her cape or brain for that matter.
Do you remember when you were all little and used to ask me about all the wrinkles on my forehead and my down-turned mouth? I’d tell you I was practicing to play Worf’s girlfriend in Star Trek, The Next Generation television series. Anyway, mommy always had a habit of playing chess with all of life’s trials and tribulations. I always tried to figure out every possible answer to every possible question, you’d thought I was studying to go on Jeopardy.
“I’ll take Worrywarts for $200 Alex”
What can I say boys, your mom is a worrier. I’m intense! The engineer in me kicks in and I want to solve problems that don’t even exist. But I’m happy to announce that for a while now I’ve been working really hard at not being so hard on myself. So now, the bus is parked and I’ve given all the wheels flats. I’ve been as good a mom as I can be for these last 25 years and it’s me time now. I really must stop trying to figure everything out, even problems that may or may not arise. It’s tiring and no fun. Mom is in much need of fun right now. It has been an intense decade, that’s for sure. After all, it WAS my job to worry. I have the most important job in the world. Taking care of you. Now, now, I know you all are grown and practically out of the house but a mom’s job is to make sure she takes care of her children. You shouldn’t have to be the ones to worry about things like the light bill or if I have enough for tuna fish for lunch tomorrow. I know I did the right thing by telling you when those things happened instead of pretending that everything was alright. We’re partners in life and always will be. I know that when the time comes for you to be on your own that you all will be alright. Yet, I worry.
It’s dangerous out there and no one will ever look out for you the way I do. Out there people will say you’re nothing, but here, at home with me, you are my world. Say what you want about your new found relationships when you get older or get into them. NO ONE. No one will love you and champion for you like I will.
Juggling four lives is no easy feat. It’s hard work so don’t let anyone tell you differently. I wanted each of you to have every opportunity to have good lives. It’s why I did what I did, worked as much as I could, studied about the world and culture and places. We were doing more than watching silent movies or Broadway shows together, we were scoping out all the possibilities and FOR YOU! I’ll have my shot at seeing the world but seeing it with you, through your eyes really meant so much more to me. For you, the universe was truly going to be your playground.
Remember the time I decided to take each of you out of school and the principal yelled at me and I told her that my sons were going out to make memories and that one week out of school wasn’t going to harm them! Then we flew off to Disney World! Hey, I’ve no regrets. Mickey was exceptionally great that year and boohoo to the principal or anyone else. We made a marvelous memory together.
I look at all of you and see that being that serious mom paid off. We have talked through all of my mistakes so you’ll have something to go on IF you ever find yourself in a similar situation. Now, when you have children (notice I didn’t say “if”) then you’ll have a bit more brain power to exert but this Glam Ma will be right there, laughing at you the whole time, waiting for my hugs and apologies. Seriously, you all were too amazing to raise, I can’t say enough on how I’d live my life, the same way, all over again. Yes boys, the same, exact life. Every painful moment too.
Please understand that love is complicated. You know what I say about relationships. “Relationships come and go, but the children born from those relationships – They are the forever.” You boys are MY FOREVER. While we don’t live with dad you’ve never had to worry about not seeing him around. Mom would never keep your dad from you. You are the best part of him.
Mom and Dad love each other, we just couldn’t live with each other. We’d evolved into two entirely different people. But you boys, you are the absolute purest and best of both of us and we both love you. While he and I didn’t agree on a lot of things when we decided to go our separate ways, we were blessed in knowing that we couldn’t place the burden of that hurt on any of you. We had to be grown up about it and put our personal feelings for each other aside and partner in parenting. So while your dad’s life has moved on and you have seen him in relationships and you’ve definitely seen me struggle to come into my own, you’ve had us both there, the good, the bad and everything in between.
Mom’s on a wonderful journey, re-discovering herself and her childhood and it’s an amazing and wonderful thing! I don’t think I’ve been this happy in eight years! Settling into a life of serving my purpose always had me fulfilled but it’s been such a long time since I’ve felt carefree, happy and dare I say it, truly in love? I do feel carefree. I do feel happy.
Every good, great, stupid, crappy, silly thing I did, gave me all of you and led me here. HERE. TODAY. THIS MOMENT. I am breathing in this moment deeply and my body is radiating energy, love and filling me with such peace and calm and pure joy. I am loving this moment. I am looking forward to the next. I have no idea where it will take me but you know what, no more trying to figure that out, then figure out “what ifs”.
Well, unless it’s “what if the boys cook dinner tonight so I won’t have to”.
I adore you all.
(look, no need for meds!)
Originally appeared at Carmen M Colon