Friday, August 15, 2008

Childhood drama

R and I were watching Animaniacs this evening (you know it's awesome) when a segment containing the character Katie Ka-Boom came on. Oddly enough, the harmless short made me cringe. I suppose this was due more to the associated memories and emotions than the cartoon itself. You see, my family used to watch Animaniacs together, and Katie Ka-Boom was my mom's favorite character. She thought Katie's temper was a hilarious parody of teenage behavior, and would often repeat Katie's catchphrase when my sister and I were upset. "I'm not overreacting - I'm a teenager!"

I think what bothers me most about this whole situation is that my mom didn't really know my sister and me when we were teenagers. My sister started to live full-time with my dad early in 6th grade (a little before she turned 12). I did the 1-week-at-one-house-1-week-at-the-other thing from 14 to 15.5, after which I started living full-time with my dad. My mom saw us maybe once a month. Less, after she called the police on me for refusing to go to church.

Now, this is all ancient history. When I started this blog, I specifically told myself I wasn't going to use it as a forum to bitch about my mother. Why am I bringing this up now? The answer is simple: kids, specifically my plans to have them shortly. Even though we're so very different, I'm afraid I'm going to turn into my mother. More specifically, I'm afraid my relationship with my kids will be like mine and my mother's. None of this is helped by R's conviction that we're going to have daughters.

This is probably how my dad felt when my mom was trying to convince him to have kids. My dad's blood-father bailed on my grandma when my dad was 3. He had a step-dad from 9 to 19 (his "10 year dad," as he refers to him), but the guy was a traveling salesman who was often gone and was exhausted when he was home. My dad wasn't really sure how one was supposed to act as a father.

In the end, I suppose I will muddle through. My dad certainly did. Instead of repeating my mom's mistakes, I'm sure I will make different ones. There certainly are daughters out there who have good relationships with their mothers. Perhaps I'll do okay.


Anonymous said...

Even though your mom may not have been the best mom, you know what kind of mom you want to be and because of that, I know you will be a great mom. You know first hand how much it hurts to have a parent not be a good one, so I'm positive you know what a good parent does by learning from what a bad parent does. Plus if you're a total schmuck, I'll just steal your kids. :P


Teacher Anonymous said...

You'll have to fight B for them - if she hasn't stolen them already. I think she and my dad are already making plans. :)