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But, their image of me is tied to mothering. I am mom. I am the one that kisses their skinned knees. I am the one that gets whacked out about pig sty-like bedrooms. I am the one that is the Wii dance champion.
I am their mom.
They see me as their blankie. Their go-to girl when things get tough. Their supporter and cheerleader and pride bursting braggart.
They see me as mom.
But, often, I wonder, when will they see me as Annie? When will they understand that I was a full and complete person before I ever considered becoming their mother?
I don't have the answers.
And, right now, I would say that my kids know the basics. I am honest with them. If they have a question about me, I will answer it. They know that I was a good student and that I stayed out of trouble. They know that I was active in school activities, that I was a color guard band geek, that I dated different boys. They know that I worked as a summer camp counselor, as a life guard, as a bra sales girl at Victoria's Secret. I regale them with tales from these jobs and from my others as trainer and aerobics instructor and eventually as teacher. I share funny stories about my college years and the craziness that I encountered.
They know the basics.
But, when is the right time to share that one of my high school boyfriends was crazy, came to my school to confront me about our breakup, and physically restrained me until teachers intervened? When is the right time to share that despite being highly involved in lots of school activities, there were times that I felt desperately alone? When is the right time to share that I experienced the "mean girls" in full force? That I was bullied? When is the right time to share about my stupid mistakes in college with friends? With alcohol? With schoolwork? When is the right time to share about my first failed marriage? About my ex? About how I think that my divorce was one of the best things that has ever happened to me?
It is a fine line.
On one hand, I do not want to lie to them or withhold information. On the other hand, I am their mother. I know them. I want to protect them. I know that right now, they are not old enough or mature enough to handle the information. But, time has a way of speeding by, like the scenery out the window from the backseat of a car, and I know that sooner, rather than later, the "right" time will arrive.