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The Mistakes I Made
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How do I explain how hard it was to raise four free spirited kids when I too was free spirited? Sometimes I feel guilty that I wasn’t able to be mean or authoritative enough when those kids got older. Things got out of control when three of them became teenagers at one time, and I also had little Megan. What kind of mother fantasizes about running away from the teenagers?! Like run away from home with the little one because the teenagers and their friends, they can be just too much. I mean, I still loved my kids, but I never knew when I’d get a call from a school because one of my kids got into trouble, usually the younger son, the wild one who is now a great and responsible Dad.

Dear Kids,

I’m sorry I wasn’t always the best example of a good Mom. I did my best, and you know how much I love you all. I was never able to successfully model a good relationship — I mean, I’m 64 and I’m finally in a decent relationship, but you’re all grown and doing your own thing now. I constantly said that everything would be okay once the book was published, and it’s still not published. How many years have I promised you that? I know. I kind of suck that way. But I’m still working on it!

Also, I should have been more strict with you and forced you to graduate from high school. And Melissa, I’m sorry I wasn’t that Mom who had cookies waiting for you when you got home from school. I had to work all the time, whether I wanted to or not (and sometimes I wanted to!). Plus I took you guys on loads of adventures, like to Silver Creek Falls and to the beach and parks and stuff. Life is a series of adventures after all. I was not the homemaker type Mom. I guess I could apologize for that, but really it’s just who I was, and who I am now pretty much.

Also, I apologized to the cat so I might as well apologize to you guys too and let you know that I’m sorry we had to move so many times when we lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. The rents were crazy there, and sometimes people were scared because when they saw you guys with all your friends, they thought there was a “gang” hanging out at our pad. Really, it was just you guys and your friends, but still you all looked like a gang apparently. And sometimes we had to move because of that. I never felt uncomfortable around you guys, you just drove me nuts sometimes and you wouldn’t listen, and well that was tough. And people would hang out and I’d tell you to make them leave and you’d say, “But he has no place else to go.” What was I, the local flop house for teenagers? I was a struggling single mom trying to make ends meet for heaven’s sake. I could barely keep up with feeding you guys, much less the lost souls who had no place else to go.

In the end, it wasn’t so bad. I got to know some of those lost souls, and to this day, they call me mom even after all these years. They told me they liked coming to our place because they felt safe. I hope you guys all felt safe too, Stevie, Melissa, Jeremy and Megan. I know you guys would never harm anyone even if you did like to smoke pot. I won’t say I”m sorry for throwing that bong out the window that one time when no one in the room would admit whose bong it was. I mean, c’mon. What else could I do? Yelling would do no good. Threatening, forget it. There were eight of you crammed into that bedroom that day, and I had to make a statement. Yes, the bong was beautiful and the glass was exquisite, but if I didn’t do something drastic, no one would remember that it was illegal back then, and we had little Megan and there was Child Protective Services.

I won’t go on. I think I’ve said enough. I’m glad you guys are all grown now and that we’re good friends. I love you all.

(this is a weird freewrite!)

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