Dear Mom, How did You Survive?

teenAngstI never got along with my mom. She always said I didn’t turn out the way she expected, and she never failed to remind me every chance she got. So when she passed away nine years ago I didn’t really miss her. Sounds cold and callous but it’s true. I don’t miss her criticisms but I miss the fact that I no longer have that historical link to my past.

Dear Mom,
Was I really this annoying when I was 14? Never mind, don’t answer that, I think I know the answer. My daughter is just like me isn’t she. Yep, Karma’s a bitch.

How did you handle this when you were a single mom, working full time with three angsty teenagers in the house? You must have been thrilled when I went to Finland for a year in high school. You’re welcome.

Just so you know I turned out okay. I know I was never the daughter you wanted, but I have thrived in my own unique way.

Your first grandson is graduating from college this year. Yes, that little kid who used to play in your tool drawer is now 22.

My youngest son is smart, funny and easy. You would really like him.

Then there’s my daughter. Mom, she would drive you crazy just like I did at 14. She is stubborn, defensive, creative and beautiful. She’s like that crazy brew we used to make at camp when everyone would bring a can of soup and all of them would get poured into one pot. Sometimes it tasted good, and other times it was the nastiest brew ever.

What do I do with her? I think I remember you just letting go and trusting me, and it worked Mom. You gave me wide boundaries as I recall and I never abused them. I made mistakes but I learned from them. And that’s the important part, right? Is that what I do with her? Set her free? Let her make mistakes?

This is hard. This single parenting stuff is hard, Mom. I don’t know how you survived, but you did.

I thank you for not clipping my wings and letting me become the person I am today, even though I’m not the person you wanted me to become. I’m better for it. Thank you.

Your angsty daughter,




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