A few weeks ago I went to eat with my parents at a diner in their home town. When we drove to the diner the McDonald’s I use to work at was across the street and during the course of the conversation my Mom innocently said:
“Honey isn’t that where you worked (pointing at McDonalds) when you dated that nice fella from Carvel’s (ice cream store)?”
Well M1, who is 13, just about fell out of her chair. She turned to my mother and said “Are you serious? Mom use to work at McDonald’s, she actually dated people and one of those people worked at an ice cream store?” My Mom looked confused and assured her that yes all of it was true.
The incredulous look on my teen’s face was hysterical. Wow talk about “Mom stereotypes”. She asked twice why I quit McDonalds because it was “the BEST” place to eat and I explained that I left to go to boot camp. Her focus then turned to the young man I dated and she barraged me with questions “Was he nice? Did you go out to eat? Did he try to kiss you? Why did you break up?” Laughing I answered them all carefully and finally explained the young man was a very nice guy but I left to go to college and never returned home. M1 stared at me and finally gasped out “OMG Mom your life was so cool what happened?” I had to laugh in spite of myself, I guess yes to a 13 year old girl that life was perfect but I knew I wanted different I explained so I moved on.
Fast forward to today in church. My oldest stood next to me during the service and at the end of the service she asked me “Mom how long have you been able to sing for real?” I was confused because I have always sung in church and at home and in the car. ‘No” she clarified “You are singing for real here and I just realized you had a good voice” I smiled and assured her that I have been singing for my whole life. She looks puzzled for a moment but says nothing so I assume it is a done deal.
Driving home she asks “Is it also true what Titi said that you used to sing and be in plays in college” I assured her it was but asked why it mattered to her. She says “Mom you could have had this awesome life. You could be famous now or even own a McDonalds but you gave all that up I don’t understand why?” The look on her face was a look of disappointment and horror.
Finally I looked at her and said “Honey if all of that would have happened then right now could not have happened. If I stayed in my home town or move to NYC to perform then I would not be here with you guys and life as you know it would not have happened” She looked confused but finally nodded and said “Do you ever wish it was different?”
Yes honey I do. But not the parts where I came to meet your family and ultimately came to become your Mom because to me this is the most awesome life I could have.