I never knew how hard the hard years were for my own mom. After all, those hard years hold some of my absolute favorite childhood memories. Looking back, though, I can see that from 1992-1999, there’s no way she wasn’t 100% stressed 100% of the time.
Let’s recap that time a little.
We had moved to a new state in 1991.
My dad had a job that required 95% travel.
She was 600 miles away from her older children. (My siblings are 16 and 18 years older than I am. I like to think I’m her favorite oops.)
My brother had a major work accident (as in he literally fell off the roof of a 2 story house) and moved in with us while he recovered.
The next year, my sister and niece ultimately briefly moved back in with us amidst their own family crisis.
We shuffled back and forth to my grandparents’ house outside of Detroit all the time – a thing I’m eternally grateful for because it gave me the relationship I had with them and my cousins.
In ’97, my grandfather suffered a massive stroke. We essentially lived in Michigan more than not until he passed in 1998.
In 1999, I had my first surgery on my knee.
On top of all of this, she was shuffling me from dance, to basketball, and Girl Scouts on her own. She dedicated Saturdays to just the two of us because she worked full time 25 miles away and I was a classic latch key kid.
Y’all, she had a million things on her plate. All.The.Time. I have so much respect for everything she did now when I’m constantly feeling like I’m trying to balance all the things and feeling like I’m on the edge of losing control of them all. Isn’t that where we all are as parents though? Feeling like we’re juggling everything and never really succeeding at anything? I’m there, and I know I’m not alone.
The hard years are here. I know that. Henry is almost three. He’s strong willed and independent just like I had hoped for. He’s curious and adventurous. It’s wonderful, but it can be tough. Add in balancing a business, working in date nights with Stephen, and remembering to schedule time with friends and I’m wishing for a weekend for the weekend. I know my mom was the same, but that’s not what I remember from my childhood. I remember all the fun we had. The adventures we took, even if they were just in our own backyard.
My favorite childhood memories are from the hard years. I hope the same goes for Henry.