Updated: May 9, 2019
Our episode this week made me think about leaving my mom’s nest. It was a little bit different scenario. But then Dottie Mitchell was a bit of a different mom than is Jennifer Hamm.
As far as I could see, the only way out of my mom's house, was to get into my car the day after my 18th birthday and drive south. Dottie was 1000 miles away with my youngest brother on a trip to Disney World visit my brother's “secret” father. This was the summer that brother would be told the truth. The summer his sense of self would be forever shattered. But I wouldn’t know about any of that for years. All I knew at that time was, I had gotten away.
Dottie called the state troopers in Kentucky and Tennessee to stop me for stealing her car. It was my car. I had paid her once a week out the money I made at my afterschool job until the $1000 price tag had been satisfied. But that trickster mom of mine, had not transferred ownership with the dmv. So technically, she was correct. Luckily, the state troopers had more important things to do than track an 18 year old daughter.
Jennifer Hamm's episode is about seeing the child in front of you and having the courage to parenting them the way they need. But more than that, Jennifer's piece is about helping construct the individual wings your child will need to fly into adulthood strong and powerful.
My mom put all my belongings into cardboard boxes and stacked them outside the apartment door after I drove away. The boxes remained there for weeks until I had them picked up by a friend and stored. My mom forbade my brothers from calling me, didn’t speak to me for months, missed my first apartment experience, my first real job during my gap year, missed out on helping me maneuver my earliest foray into adulthood.
Sad that my mom forfeited those once in a lifetime moments because of her short-sightedness.
Grateful Jenn wrote such a beautiful piece that makes us all stop and think.