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More Than Missing Curtains

At one time in my life I was slightly bitter that we didn’t have stuff growing up. The old linoleum floor that had half its pattern missing. The hand-me-down couches. The limited wardrobe. The old television set. No air conditioning. Having to hear about how poor we are. (If my mother told us once she was going to sell the house because she was going under, she said it a thousand times.) It depressed me. It made me question my mom’s abilities. But tonight, on my way home from the gym, I had an epiphany.

I was sitting there waiting at a light. My mind was wandering to Big Girl’s room. She’s still without curtains almost a year after our renovation. I have been feeling guilty about this, especially since — a few months ago — I came across her journal open to a passage that mentioned her paper shades. “Oh well, it’s been almost a year and I STILL have no curtains in my room.” But as always, I digress.

So I’m sitting there in traffic thinking about how bad I felt that my husband and my father-in-law haven’t been able to build the cornices in there yet and thoughts of my mother — specifically how she must have felt all those years — whacked me in the face like a brick. Just then I realized how much it must have killed her inside when she looked around and saw what we didn’t have. What she surely wanted to provide. How it must have eaten her alive.

How could I have missed it? Why didn’t I realize what was going on? Why didn’t I pity my mom instead of just pitying myself? They say having kids makes you appreciate your own parents. It’s true. But sometimes it takes a few years — and some missing curtains — for it to happen.

One Response to “More Than Missing Curtains”

  1. MarthaAndMe says:

    That is a very interesting revelation and you’re completely right.

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