It occurred to me recently that the “mama” version of me will be the only one my kids will ever know. You know the one. She says you can’t eat waffles for dinner, complains that the music is too loud at Five Guys, and can no longer stay awake through an entire movie. Oof. Don’t you sorta wish our kids could have (briefly) known their irresponsible, carefree pre-mama mamas?
So, kids, here are a few things about me I wish I could tell you about. Things that were irretrievably lost in a pre-mama sinkhole, along with my stilettos and ability to sleep in past 8 a.m.
1. I used to curse like a mother fucker.
I recently flipped out about your casual (yet oddly appropriate) use of “goddammit,” but I must confess that before you picked up every word we said, I cursed – badly – all the time. And not just cute little “shit!” exclamations; I’m talking calling my friends cocksuckers for no reason, referring to bad drivers as dickholes, and maybe even dropping the C word a time or two. Oh, and “fuckin'” was my all-time favorite fuckin’ adjective.
But sometime in the last couple of years, I stopped (you picked up “goddammit” from your dumbass dad). Now when I do slip, it feels strange. Less like me. It’s fucked up! So, I’m sorry that I’m lame and that I make a face when you say “what the heck.” You’re 3. I have to at least pretend I think it’s inappropriate. Call me a hypocrite. Actually, don’t, that’s not a very nice word.
2. I used to party.
One day I’m going to ream you out when you come home smelling of booze. Sorry, I won’t be one of those “cool moms” who lets her 15-year-old drink as long as it’s done in her house (those moms are selling weed out of their attics, trust). Not to give you ammunition during that inevitable screaming exchange, but before you call me a total fun-killing loser, just know that I wasn’t always that. I used to get wasted off my freakin’ ass. Like throwing-up-in-the-street, walking-through-the-city-barefoot, chain-smoking drunk.
I ate cheese fries with abandon, danced on a few tables, sang karaoke sitting down (“Mr. Jones” – worst karaoke song ever), and once bought a Christmas tree at 4 a.m. and named him Henry. I had FUN. But I also did dumb shit like driving when I shouldn’t have and walking home alone late at night. I look back and feel so grateful that nothing bad happened (like really bad, not like getting kicked out of Junior Statesmen of America in the 10th grade for sneaking out to hang out with Dru Hill, that just gave me street cred).
So just bear with me when I flip my lid. Do me a solid and don’t drive drunk, always respect drunk (and sober) women, and don’t jump off the roof of a frat house because some bro dares you. Just make it to 21. I promise we’ll get wasted together on your birthday.
3. I used to NOT be a pain in the ass.
I harp on you a lot, I know. Eat your broccoli! Get dressed faster! Go to bed NOW! But, hand to God, I wasn’t always such an iron-fisted taskmaster. Not that long ago, I could happily sleep in until noon, eat cereal for dinner, and watch TV all day. In college, your dad and I would watch dating shows from 3 to 5 a.m. every night.
Why? Well, why not? I had enough time to be a lazy piece of shit, but also to get shit done. I don’t have that kind of time anymore, and I’m also supposed to be teaching you how to be healthy, productive, responsible humans (or something), so I now have to be a nagging asshole about everything. Hence the whiteboards, the 5 minute warnings, the timeouts.
Trust me, at my core, I’d still rather we eat popcorn and watch Kung Fu Panda until midnight and then blow off school the next day. But for the next several years, I think it’s gotta be this way. I’m always open to compromise, though, so how about this: This weekend, I’ll let you eat waffles for dinner, if you let me sleep in until noon. Deal?
4. I used to be cool.
Never mind, you won’t believe this one, and I don’t really either. Next.
5. I used to dream of you.
Before I uttered my first f-bomb or took my first Jager bomb, before I knew anything else I’d ever want in my life, I knew I wanted you. The idea of you, of my own family, it was always the dream. In some strange, cosmic way, I was your mama before I was your mama. You were always meant to be mine, and I was always meant to be yours. Yes, you changed some things about me. But you gave me the most precious gift in return. You made my dream come true.
And for that, well, I’d give the rest up a hundred f’ing times over.
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