Second Childhood

May 7, 2007

I began thinking back about my life and realized I never really had a childhood.  Once my little brother was born I was responsible for his care.  This made me his “mom” from the time I was about eight.  Now don’t get me wrong, my mother was there sometimes but she was napping, or she needed to do something (she left the house a lot).  My dad was working so he didn’t know any of this went on.

My mom would leave me in charge and a list needing done around the house.  It was never a small list.  It always included making dinner and feeding my baby brother.  There were rooms to pick up and laundry and dishes needing washed.  Keep in mind most adults have trouble getting all of this done so you could imagine how difficult it was for me, an eight year old. 

I wasn’t only in charge of my youngest brother, I have two of them and was left to make sure the older of the two cleaned up after himself.  What made this so bad was if he didn’t get his chores done I had to do them or risk getting yelled at when my mother came home.  So I learned from an early age to just do it all myself. 

After my childhood was cut short, I grew up very quickly.  I got my first job as soon as I could yet I was still responsible for making sure the house ran the way my mother wanted it.  As I grew older I worked from the time I got out of school until midnight or so.  I did this just so I could have money and be away from my parents house. 

At the tender age of seventeen I got in a horrible fight with my mother and moved out of my parents house on my mother’s birthday.  I couldn’t stand the control she tried to have over me.  Less then a month later I found out I was pregnant with my oldest child.  I didn’t get to tell my family in the way I would have liked. 

After a horrible fight with our roommates, my boyfriend and I left to stay with his mom.  We waited until the next night to go back and try to get our stuff.  We went to the police station where not only did our former roommates go but so did my family and my boyfriends mother as well.  His mother got in the face of the roommate who hit me and the police had to pull her off.  My father got out of the car but stood back.  He knew the police and when they asked him why he wasn’t going to jump in there he told them “I’d kill him for hitting my daughter.” 

My father left and went home and left me there with my mother and brother.  I told her I was pregnant.  She was devastated.  She was too young to be a grandma.  She left and went home to put my brother back in bed.  She then told my dad I was pregnant.  He was disappointed.  He didn’t speak to me for six months even though I moved back home, living right down the hall. 

So here I was, pregnant in high school.  I was scared.  The one happy thing was my boyfriend wanted to be there for me.  He cared about me.  Yet now I was responsible for caring for a newborn.  This didn’t really hit me, I was so use to caring for kids.  I took it in stride and I was a good mom.

Three kids more and a jolt into reality.  My husband who had been such a wonderful and attentive man with our first child, was hating the idea of becoming a dad for the fourth time.  Just three weeks after our youngest was born he had had enough of the dad thing and wanted his freedom.  So he left as soon as he had someplace to go.  He didn’t tell me he was leaving until he left.  I was broke.  Literally.  I had not a penny and wasn’t working (on medical leave due to birth).  

I pulled myself up by my bootstraps so to speak and put my life together.  I knew someone had to care for these kids and I had no choice, I wasn’t going to be their dad.  I went back to work and my dad took over for their dad.  He was my sitter.  Then he died a year later.  Another set back.  Picking up the pieces and moving on was harder this time but I did it for my kids.  

Three months after my dad died I realized I hadn’t gone out at all since my husband left me.  I had been nowhere.  I realized I was never going to move on in my life unless I did.  I agreed to join some friends from work for a night out at a local bar.  I had a great time.  Met a new guy, was scared to death of him, but wanted to do this even more.

After that night I was hooked.  I wanted to be twenty one all over again.  Worse, I acted twenty one.  I went out all the time, drank and drove when I shouldn’t have, and most of my friends were new to the bar scene.  I began getting piercings, tattoos, and doing things no responsible adult would.  I was twenty one again.

Then I realized my lifestyle wasn’t any good for me.  I began cutting out the bar visits and started acting like an adult.  I didn’t always feel like an adult but I tried.  It was amazing how many of the people I hung out with grew up and stopped going out just like I had.  No one I know goes to my old hang outs anymore.  I guess I grew up at the right time.

I still feel younger than my age but I’m sure with time and the aches and pains of old age I will be just another middle aged mom with a midlife crisis.




  1. Wow that was a long winded post! Left out some stuff in the middle but it was all good and summed it all up there. hOOt!!!

  2. Sherrie ~ I know I left out alot but this post was getting way too long. Besides it gives me something else to write about later.

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