Home > Family, Love, Parenting, Reflections > Wanted To Buy: Takebacks

Wanted To Buy: Takebacks

Oh, yeah!

Oh, yeah!

I was barely sixteen when I first moved out of my mom’s house.

I stayed with a girlfriend, S, from the local community college, where I’d just begun my third term of studies in what would prove a successful bid to get out of high school a year early.

I managed six weeks of living with S before I decided home wasn’t such a bad place to be. As I wrote in my online journal:

I don’t want to go “home,” but I don’t want to live with S. She drives me crazy. Not even the siblings make me nuts in the same way does S.

Eventually I’d discover that shared lodging often breeds resentment, but at the time, I was sure S was the problem. Well, her and her rabbit. Also her 3 a.m. phone calls from her mom, who’d demand S awaken me so she could tell us how very, very much she loved both of us.

Life at my mom’s house seemed oh so sweet by comparison. For a couple of weeks. I let her know how grateful I was by saying things like, “I hate you! I’ll hate you forever!” and–because I knew it got under her skin like nothing else I could say–”I wish I’d never been born!”

She’d shake her head and say, “Someday you’ll have kids. Then you’ll know how this feels.”

I moved out more or less for good later that year. I rented a red room in the boonies from a bunch of college students who didn’t care about the fact I was sixteen as long as I didn’t care about the fact they used the living room for epic ganj-a-thons.

Yes, I went by “Phil.” No, I don’t recall why.

I didn’t especially like shelling out my hard-earned painting and McMoney for rent, and I missed living close to downtown. Still, these were small prices to pay to be free of my mom’s nagging. Free!

Free, that is, until the next time I really needed a place to crash.

My mom welcomed me again and assured me, again, that I’d understand how she felt. Someday.

To show my appreciation, I decided to push more of her buttons. I came home one evening and, with a mischievous smile, tossed a notecard onto the couch where my mom was resting.

“What’s this?” she asked, moments before reading it and commencing screaming.

As I expected, my mom took my invitation to become a Tri-Delt poorly indeed. From my online journal:

She shrieked, asked what she had done wrong and accused me of being a social climber.


Outwardly, I argued back, but inwardly I gloated.

It was many moons before I’d tell her I joined just to drive her batty, recalling all the times she threw out cheerleader paraphernalia my younger self had received as birthday gifts.

This weekend I’ve remembered my mom’s promise that I’d understand someday with a half-smile on my face to mirror the knot in my stomach. As my son’s thrown his most impressive tantrums yet, I’ve flashed back to my mom’s very vocal certainty I’d know how she felt someday. I’ve found myself wishing I could go back in time and tell my mom, “OK, I totally get it now. I take it back.”

Unfortunately, like I often used to say on the playground and at home, I understand all too well that there are “No takebacks!”

This weekend I’ve heard the words “I hate you!” roared by my 28-month-old son for the first time. I cringed to hear it even hearing how he doesn’t really grasp what it means, because I’m pretty darn certain there’s going to come a time where he says it and means it. Or thinks he means it.

That’s gonna suck.

In the meantime, I have lots of snuggles and giggles and games of peek-a-boo to enjoy, as well as lots of firsts I’ll actually want to mark in my son’s baby book. I’m going to do my best to be fully in those moments, but I’m pretty certain that enjoyment’s going to broken up sporadically with little prayers that my son’s gentler on me than I was on my mom.

Even if he’s not, I hope I’ll have enough patience not to hold it against him, but instead to say, “Someday you’ll get it, kid.”

I hope, too, I’ll have enough grace to laugh later, as I imagine my mom touching my cheek with a smile and saying, “So I don’t know anything, huh?”

Turns out I’ll be lucky to know half the nothing she did.

This was among posts accidentally deleted from this blog.
Reposted 6/25/15

  1. June 25, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    McDonalds. The thing I hated most about that job was cleaning the men’s bathroom. Gag. Taught me a lot about life and about myself. I cannot eat the food after that experience except that I will from time to time still get an inexplicable craving for a McChicken sandwich with the smattering of iceberg lettuce and glob of mayo-ish goo. Thanks for jogging the memories! My kids’ way of telling me they hate me is to tell me I am not invited to their birthday party…

    • June 25, 2015 at 6:54 pm

      Gag is right! I went through a long while where even seeing a McDonald’s sign made me gag. Now I will occasionally grab something there if I’m really, really hungry and it’s the nearest place … though how I can do so having been there myself is beyond me!

      I wasn’t going to repost anything tonight, but then Li’l D spent the car ride telling me he doesn’t love me (even though he knows I still love him very much, and always). My unforgivable sin? Confirming he would not, in fact, be watching TV tonight on account of not having fulfilled the well known prerequisites. Yep, I’m bad to the bone.

      • June 25, 2015 at 7:05 pm

        Bad to the bone. Yes! Absolutely! Just don’t let it go to your head… 😉

  2. June 25, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    Hopefully, Lil D will be a tad easier on you, eh? Sons and Moms have different relationships than Mother/Daughters…Don’t know why….just is. Glad you re-posted this. My “deleted” post is permanently gone to the bloggers cemetery…never could retrieve it….So….you really moved out at 16? I wouldn’t have had the guts at 16 to “go it” on my own…….When I left my home town at 23, and drove 3,000 miles across country, I was scared outta my mind! But 16?! Whoa, you’re one courageous young woman!!! 🙂

  1. July 18, 2016 at 8:53 pm

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