Thursday, July 21, 2011

Walking Straighter

Day 15 of abs

Damn Country songs!! There’s nothing like them to make you feel guilty. I couldn’t listen to a country station on the radio for a year after my divorce. This morning I was driving around, feeling pretty good about myself and this country song, “Please Walk A Little Straighter, Daddy” comes on. It’s all about a son whose father is an alcoholic and how he’s trying to look up to him and he’s asking him to quit drinking. Boy, did that send pangs through my heart. If I could go back and erase every memory that my sons have of me being drunk, I would do it in a heartbeat. I don’t know what I was thinking back then. Drinking at high school football games when they were playing, drinking when their friends were spending the night, drinking when I was preparing a pre-Prom dinner for my youngest son and his date and another couple and my son turned to me and said, “Do you really think I can’t tell when you’re drinking, Mom?” in front of his friends. I was so ashamed and embarrassed. How do I think he felt?

I’ve always thought I would never abuse my children, but I did.  I never thought I was that bad.  It wasn't like I was the drunk dad in the movie "Hoosiers".  But I was bad enough.  I gave them ugly and shameful memories. The shame was not theirs but they had to bear it. They deserved so much better. My sons are grown now and those memories are a permanent part of them. I can’t undo the past, all I can do is try to redeem the present and future and be the mother they deserve.

If someone is reading this that has young children, please give them memories of a parent of which they are proud. Do it for you, for your children and for me.

So today I’m out there doing my best to make new memories that won’t erase the old ones but hopefully they’ll outshine them.

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